CaltechAUTHORS
  A Caltech Library Service

Dynamics of Triton's atmosphere

Ingersoll, Andrew P. (1990) Dynamics of Triton's atmosphere. Nature, 344 (6264). pp. 315-317. ISSN 0028-0836. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20130418-105343166

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item: https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20130418-105343166

Abstract

The recent Voyager encounter established certain facts about Triton's atmosphere: the surface pressure is in the range 1.5 – 1.9 Pa (15–19 μbar); the surface temperature is 38 ± 3K (ref. 2); molecular nitrogen is the dominant atmospheric constituent; hazes and clouds are visible not only on the limb but also against the surface; the wind in the southern hemisphere is to the northeast at low altitudes (as shown by streaks on the surface) and to the west at high altitudes (as shown by geyser-like plume tails). Triton rotates with a period of 5.877 days in a right-hand sense about the south pole, where the season now is late spring4. Here we argue that these features can be explained if Triton, like Mars, has a global, well-structured atmosphere in equilibrium with surface frosts. The subliming frost cap produces a polar anticyclone at low altitudes, with northeastward winds of ~5 m s^(−1) within the Ekman boundary layer. The temperature contrast between the cold frost-covered pole and the warm unfrosted equator produces westward winds at high altitudes.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/344315a0DOIArticle
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v344/n6264/abs/344315a0.htmlPublisherArticle
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Ingersoll, Andrew P.0000-0002-2035-9198
Additional Information:© 1990 Nature Publishing Group. Received 16 November 1989; accepted 15 February 1990. I thank R. H. Brown, C. Chyba, C. Leovy, S. Leroy, R. M. Nelson, C. Sagan, J. Spencer, E. Stone, D. Strobel, R. Thompson, R. Yelle and R. Zurek for useful comments and discussions. The research was supported by the NASA Planetary Atmospheres Program and by Voyager Project funds.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASAUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:6264
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130418-105343166
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20130418-105343166
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:38024
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:18 Apr 2013 21:15
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 04:53

Repository Staff Only: item control page