KOYAANISMUUYAW: THE HYPOTHESIS OF A PERENNIALLY DICHOTOMOUS TRITON

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Abstract

The Voyager 2 observation that, at the height of a “major” southern summer, the southern “cap” of Triton extends nearly to the equator, and the northern temperate regions (where they can be seen) are relatively dark even though nitrogen frost should be accumulating at those latitudes, has prompted us to propose a hypothesis that there has been a net non-reversable flux of surficial volatiles on Triton from the northern hemisphere to the southern hemisphere over much of the satellite's history and up to the present. The north-south hemispherical albedo difference is permanent and overwhelms the seasonal effect on volatile transport. This hypothesis assumes that volatile erosion, transport, and deposition has been in the form of sublimation, advection, and precipitation.

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