ESO: Triton’s Summer Sky of Methane and Carbon Monoxide

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ESO: Triton’s Summer Sky of Methane and Carbon Monoxide

Post by bystander » Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:40 pm

Triton’s Summer Sky of Methane and Carbon Monoxide
eso1015 - 2010 Apr 07
According to the first ever infrared analysis of the atmosphere of Neptune's moon Triton, summer is in full swing in its southern hemisphere. The European observing team used ESO's Very Large Telescope and discovered carbon monoxide and made the first ground-based detection of methane in Triton's thin atmosphere. These observations revealed that the thin atmosphere varies seasonally, thickening when warmed.
Detection of CO in Triton's atmosphere and the nature of surface-atmosphere interactions