Welcome to the Cockermouth Astronomical Society website. Hopefully you'll find all the information you need about our society and astronomy in West Cumbria here. If not contact us.

For more regular updates and members images why not join our Facebook page.

Tuesday, May 16

How Neptune captured Triton

Neptune's moon Triton has always been a bit of a mystery, because it is in a 'retrograde orbit', that means it goes around Neptune 'backwards' compared to most moons in the solar system. A team of astronomers has recently published a theory to explain why.

The team believe that Triton was caputured by Neptune during a three body encounter in the early history of the solar system. They think Triton was actualy part of a binary planet system, very similar to the current Pluto-Charon system, which had a close encounter with Neptune. It's worth remembering that Triton is 40% bigger than Pluto, and has active geysers on it's surface.

More technical details at Planetary Society's Blog.

Image Credit: NASA - Triton

News has been pretty thin on the ground for the last week or so. I hope some of you have managed to find the Comet 73P/Schwassman-Wachmann 3 over the last few days, although the weather has not been ideal.

No comments:

Post a Comment