A Caltech Library Service

Triton: Topside ionosphere and nitrogen escape

Yung, Y. L. and Lyons, J. R. (1990) Triton: Topside ionosphere and nitrogen escape. Geophysical Research Letters, 17 (10). pp. 1717-1720. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1029/GL017i010p01717.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


The principal ion in the ionosphere of Triton is N^+. Energetic electrons of magnetospheric origin are the primary source of ionization, with a smaller contribution due to photoionization. To explain the topside plasma scale height, we postulate that N^+ ions escape from Triton. The loss rate is 3.4 × 10^7 cm^(−2) s^(−1) or 7.9 × 10^(24) ions s^(−1). Dissociative recombination of N^+_2 produces neutral exothermic fragments that can escape from Triton. The rate is estimated to be 8.6 × 10^6 N cm^(−2) s^(−1) or 2.0 × 10^(24) atoms s^(−1). Implications for the magnetosphere of Neptune and Triton's evolution are discussed.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Yung, Y. L.0000-0002-4263-2562
Additional Information:© 1990 by the American Geophysical Union. Paper number 90GL01465. Received: April 20, 1990; revised: June 12, 1990; accepted: June 25, 1990. We thank M. Summers, D. Strobel, J. Richardson, R. Selesnick, and S. Srivastava for communicating to us their results prior to publication, and M. Allen and S. Trajmar for valuable discussions. This work is supported in part by NASA grant NAGW 1509 to the California Institute of Technology, and by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under contract with NASA. Contribution number 4860 from the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Other Numbering System:
Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences4860
Issue or Number:10
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140813-075114752
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Triton: Topside ionosphere and nitrogen escape (pages 1717–1720) Y. L. Yung and J. R. Lyons DOI: 10.1029/GL017i010p01717
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:48468
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:13 Aug 2014 16:11
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 18:32

Repository Staff Only: item control page