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Why do astronomers say that Triton was captured by Neptune?

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Submitted : 2018-06-14 03:35:46    Popularity:     

Tags: Triton  astronomers  Neptune  captured  

"Captured" only relates to people, animals, or perhaps a collective group of people (such as a city) being captured by another force of people. It cannot be used to describe two inanimate objects such as planets. Why do astronomers think differe

Answers:

Your question really captured my attention. Does that give you a clue?

Triton actually shows a lot of similarities to other Kuiper Belt Bodies Like Pluto and Charon and is made of the same materials
Frozen Nitrogen and Water ice
It has a Retrograde Orbit which is slowly spiralling in
This in affect is causing Triton's Nitrogen fountains
We wouldn't be here but for Nitrogen
Tidally, Triton's future will be to break up and become a beautiful ring around Neptune
It shows all the signs of being caught

They mean that the planets gravity pulled a passing rock into orbit and held it in orbit. In astronomy, one body "capturing" another body is standard language.

It was captured in the sense that it was orbiting the Sun independently and then started to orbit Neptune. It's normal to use language in that way.

Actually, you're incorrect... Triton is thought to have been in solar orbit until it was, indeed, 'captured' through Neptune's gravity, and it became another moon of the planet. While I don't disagree with the other descriptions you've provided, it is quite accurate to use the word 'captured' in this case as well.

Capture orbits are a fairly common and well known feature in astronomy. Your use of the word capture is too limited to accord with modern usage

Triton was probably first a member of the Kuiper belt. Like Pluto and Eris. In this belt all sort of things happens. There are a lot of objects out there. The simple solution is, that Triton encountered another descent sized object, maybe even Sedna, and that Sedna went into a giant ellipse orbit and Triton was pushed a little the other direction and unfortunately for the moon it came near Neptune and Neptune's gravity pulled the moon toward it. The rotation of Neptune is not relevant because Triton could have come close to Neptune against it's rotation direction, but still be captured. It probably happened very slow because Triton is in a nice circular orbit. Sadly enough for the moon it has not enough momentum to keep in orbit, so it's steadily spiraling towards the planet until it meets the Roche Limit and starts falling apart into pieces. Finally it will become a ring. So if people think Triton will impact Neptune they are wrong. Triton will already be shredded and turn into particles that fall one by one into the planet.

Nobody ascribes to Neptune a strategy or plan to capture Triton. It's just what happened by the accident of Triton's happening to come quite near Neptune. Some speculate that Triton's earlier status was membership in a binary pair (similar to the Pluto/Charon combination). Accidental proximity to Neptune left Triton in an eccentric orbit around Neptune, and orbiting in the "wrong" direction.

You are wrong. The definition of "capture" allows for inanimate capture.

Words change meaning all the time.

"It cannot be " ? who are you to dictate the exact meaning of words?

Triton orbits Neptune in the opposite direction of the planet's rotation. All the other natural satellites orbit their planets in the same direction as their home planet.



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