Triton's dark plumes and streaks


. This image of the south polar terrain on Triton reveals about 50 elongated dark plumes, or "wind streaks" on the moon's highly reflective surface. The plumes originate at very dark spots, generally several thousand meters across, probably marking vents where nitrogen gas was driven outward in geyser-like eruptions from beneath the surface. Winds in Triton's thin, nitrogen atmosphere may have carried the dark erupted material along, depositing it in the elongated streaks. This image was taken on 25 August 1989 from Voyager 2. (Courtesy of JPL and NASA.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University