10. Triton
Global Color Mosaic of Triton
Triton South Polar Terrain
Triton High Resolution View of Northern Hemisphere - PIA00061.
Triton - PIA02208.
Triton South Polar Terrain

Triton South Polar Terrain

Courtesy of NASA/JPL


This image of the south polar terrain of Triton reveals about 50 dark plumes or 'wind streaks' on the icy surface. The plumes originate at very dark spots generally a few miles in diameter and some are more than 100 miles long. The spots which clearly mark the source of the dark material may be vents where gas has erupted from beneath the surface and carried dark particles into Triton's nitrogen atmosphere. Southwesterly winds then transported the erupted particles, which formed gradually thinning deposits to the northeast of most vents. It is possible that the eruptions have been driven by seasonal heating of very shallow subsurface deposits, and the winds transporting particles similarly may be seasonal winds. The polar terrain, upon which the dark streaks have been deposited, is a region of bright materials mottled with irregular, somewhat dark patches.