Tuesday, June 21, 2022
Ice Giant Systems Seminar Series: Dr. Jason Hofgartner
*** Delayed one week from the usual "2nd Tuesday" date to deconflict with the OPAG Meeting. ***
Presenter: Dr. Jason Hofgartner (SwRI Boulder)
Topic: Hypotheses for Triton's Plumes: New Analyses and Future Remote Sensing Tests
Abstract: At least two active plumes were observed on Triton during the Voyager 2 flyby in 1989. An eruption model based on a solar-powered, solid-state greenhouse effect was previously considered the leading hypothesis for Triton's plumes, in part due to the proximity of the plumes to the subsolar latitude during the Voyager 2 flyby and the distribution of Triton's fans that are putatively deposits from former plumes. Based on new analyses of the ostensible relation between the latitude of the subsolar point on Triton and the geographic locations of the plumes and fans, we argue that neither the locations of the plumes nor fans are strong evidence in favor of the solar-powered hypothesis. We conclude that two other eruption models based on internal heat, not solar insolation, as well as the solar-powered greenhouse model should be further considered. We present five tests that could be implemented with remote sensing observations from future spacecraft to confidently distinguish among the eruption hypotheses for Triton's plumes.