JULIAN BAUM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JULIAN BAUM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Interplanetary spaceprobe Voyager 2 is seen crossing the day-night boundary on Triton, Neptune's innermost moon, in this artwork by Julian Baum. After its flyby of Neptune's north pole on 24/Aug/89, Voyager 2 will descend sharply to rendezvous with Triton. Triton is thought to be a cold, rocky body with a very tenuous atmosphere of methane and probably a surface coating of methane frost. It moves in a peculiar orbit; it is retrograde, at a high inclination to Neptune's equator and is rapidly decaying with time such that in about 10 million years, Triton will be torn apart by tidal forces as it approaches Neptune.
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