Energy sources for triton's geyser-like plumes

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Four geyser-like plumes were discovered near Triton's south pole in areas now in permanent sunlight. Because Triton's southern hemisphere is nearing a maximum summer solstice, insolation as a driver or a trigger for Triton's geyser-like plumes is an attractive hypothesis. Trapping of solar radiation in a translucent, low-conductivity surface layer (in a solid-state greenhouse), which is subsequently released in the form of latent heat of sublimation, could provide the required energy. Both the classical solid-state greenhouse consisting of exponentially absorbed insolation in a gray, translucent layer of solid nitrogen, and the "super" greenhouse consisting of a relatively transparent solid-nitrogen layer over an opaque, absorbing layer are plausible candidates. Geothermal heat may also play a part if assisted by the added energy input of seasonal cycles of insolation.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Energy sources for triton's geyser-like plumes
Series title Science
DOI 10.1126/science.250.4979.431
Volume 250
Issue 4977
Year Published 1990
Language English
Publisher American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Contributing office(s) Astrogeology Science Center
Description 5 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Science
First page 431
Last page 435
Other Geospatial Triton
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