Trident for Triton!

Triton, Neptune’s captured moon, as imaged by Voyager 2. Image credit: NASA/JPL

Triton, Neptune’s captured moon, as imaged by Voyager 2. Image credit: NASA/JPL

Hello Earthlings!

This is an exciting time for NASA to begin selecting more missions for hopefully explore more of our Solar System! One such mission has been gaining plenty of momentum…this is Trident, a mission designed to explore Neptune’s largest (and captured) moon, Triton!

Trident is still in story board mode in planning, but the purpose of wanting to study Triton has been catching the eye of many planetary scientists. Triton offers plenty of mysteries, so Trident hopes to answer some of these burning questions.

Some of these science objectives include:

1- if Triton has a subsurface ocean

2- why Triton has the youngest surface of any icy world in the solar system (and which processes are responsible for this)

3-why Triton’s ionosphere is so unusually intense

Still curious about this mission concept? Take a look at the abstracts from the 50th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference from the leaders of the proposed mission:

https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2019/pdf/3200.pdf

https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2019/pdf/3188.pdf

Thanks for reading and join me next week for a look at lightning storms on other planets!

Caitlin Ahrens