New Global Map of Triton Shows Neptune’s Moon Like Never Before

This Monday will mark the 25th anniversary of Voyager 2’s visit to Neptune, its historic close approach to the distant ice giant having been made back on Aug. 25, 1989. To mark the occasion, the Lunar and Planetary Institute has released a newly-restored, high-resolution map of Triton, Neptune’s largest moon and the last solid body to…

A New Moon for Neptune!

Big, blue, and blustery, distant Neptune is the outermost “real” planet in our solar system — a frigid gas giant nearly 3 billion miles from Earth orbiting the Sun with a handful of faint ring segments and a retinue of 13 moons… um, on second thought, better make that 14.

A Backwards Moon

At 1,680 miles across, the frigid and wrinkled Triton is distant Neptune’s largest moon. It orbits the planet backwards – that is, in the opposite direction that Neptune rotates – and is the only moon one of only two moons in our solar system to do so. This leads many astronomers to believe that Triton is…

A New Look at Neptune

Ok, ok… it’s not “new” (it’s from a HubbleNews article released in 2005) but since I just came across it myself, it’s new to me! So maybe it’s new to you too. 🙂 The video above was created from images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, showing distant Neptune (we’re talking four and a half…

A Sense of “Scale”

Here’s a very cool animation by motion designer Brad Goodspeed, showing what our night sky might look like were some of the other planets in our solar system at the same distance from us as the Moon. (About 240,000 miles / 384,000 km.) Wait for Jupiter to make quite an entrance… While watching the video…

Blast from the Past

This photo of Neptune’s largest moon Triton was taken by Voyager 2 on August 24, 1989…nearly 21 years ago! With a resolution of about six miles per pixel it reveals the rugged mountainous terrain of this frozen moon in the far reaches of our solar system, including its signature “cantaloupe terrain” seen here in the…

Into the Blue

Discovered by philosophy professor Ted Stryk in the archives of Voyager 2 image data, four separate images were combined to show the shadow of Despina – lightened for better visibility – crossing over the sky blue face of Neptune. Neptune, now officially the outermost planet in our solar system, was visited by Voyager 2 in…