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Neptune's Story

Goldreich, P. and Murray, N. and Longaretti, P. Y. and Banfield, D. (1989) Neptune's Story. Science, 245 (4917). pp. 500-504. ISSN 0036-8075. doi:10.1126/science.245.4917.500.

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It is conjectured that Triton was captured from a heliocentric orbit as the result of a collision with what was then one of Neptune's regular satellites. The immediate postcapture orbit was highly eccentric with a semimajor axis a ~ 10^3R_N and a periapse distance rp that oscillated periodically above a minimum value of about 5R_N. Dissipation due to tides raised by Neptune in Triton caused Triton's orbit to evolve to its present state in ≾10^9 years. For much of this time Triton was almost entirely molten. While its orbit was evolving, Triton cannibalized most of the regular satellites of Neptune and also perturbed Nereid, thus accounting for that satellite's highly eccentric and inclined orbit. The only regular satellites of Neptune that survived were those that formed well within 5RN and they move on inclined orbits as the result of chaotic perturbations forced by Triton. Neptune's arcs are confined around the corotation resonances of one of these inner satellites. The widths and lengths of the arcs imply that the satellite's radius is at least 30/(sin i)^(2/3) kilometers for i ≾ 1, where i is the angle of inclination.

Item Type:Article
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Alternate Title:Neptune Story
Additional Information:© 1989 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received 16 May 1989; accepted 3 July 1989. We acknowledge useful conversations with P. D. Nicholson, B. Sicardy, and D. Stevenson and thank P. Coppi for help with the computations. This research was supported by NSF grant AST-861299 and NASA grant NGL-05-002-003.
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Issue or Number:4917
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:37264
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:06 Mar 2013 16:12
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:27

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