School: North Delta Secondary School
City: Delta, British Columbia
"Triton, Neptune’s largest and most strange moon, deserves to be speculated for ground-breaking research. Triton has many unique features that no other moon in the solar system does. For example, due to Triton’s icy surface, it reflects 90% of the light it gets from the sun; therefore, it is freezing, in fact, it is one of the coldest known objects in the solar system. Triton also has volcanos but, unlike the usual spewing of lava, these ice volcanoes release nitrogen gas and dust into its atmosphere. Also, Triton’s atmosphere is 78% nitrogen, the same as Earth, while the rest is methane. That is not the only similarity between Triton and our home planet. Since Triton’s crust is water ice, there may be water deeper under the surface. Also, like Earth, Triton is one of the few places in the solar system with geological movement; therefore, it has hills and different terrains.
It is quite evident that Triton is not a suitable setting for humans or organisms to live on, but it is a unique moon that can reveal so much about the universe. When the Voyager 2 captured an image of Triton, it could only catch half of its surface and learn a few facts. Scientists must explore Triton early, because Neptune is slowing down Triton’s orbit, and soon enough, it would stop, and Neptune will swallow Triton, leaving a ring around itself. Even though this event is far into the future, it should still be a priority to explore Triton before too many changes occur. Looking back at the theory that there might be water deep inside Triton, is it possible that organisms are inhabiting there? Or, due to its icy conditions, can Triton be preserving something from the past deep inside its core? Does the retrograde orbit affect Triton in any way? There are so many questions, but only one way to find the answer to all of them, to send another spacecraft aimed towards Triton."