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Triton's streaks as windblown dustExplanations for the surface streaks observed by Voyager 2 on Triton's southern hemisphere are discussed. It is shown that, despite Triton's tenuous atmosphere, low-cohesion dust trains with diameters of about 5 micron or less may be carried into suspension by aeolian surface shear stress, given expected geostrophic wind speeds of about 10 m/s. For geyser-like erupting dust plumes, it is shown that dust-settling time scales and expected wind velocities can produce streaks with length scales in good agreement with those of the streaks. Thus, both geyserlike eruptions or direct lifting by surface winds appear to be viable mechanisms for the origin of the streaks.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Sagan, Carl
(Cornell Univ. Ithaca, NY, United States)
Chyba, Christopher
(Cornell University Ithaca, NY, United States)
Date Acquired
August 14, 2013
Publication Date
August 9, 1990
Publication Information
Publication: Nature
Volume: 346
ISSN: 0028-0836
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Accession Number
Distribution Limits

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