The nucleus of the tritium (hydrogen-3) atom, containing one proton and two neutrons, used as a projectile in nuclear reactions. The collision of two deuterons sometimes produces a proton and a triton.

See also: deuteron
In the world of British motorcycling, a Triton is a relatively rare hybrid: the marriage of a Triumph engine and a Norton frame. Built by racing enthusiasts in their garden sheds, lock-ups and living rooms, no two Tritons are the same.

Originating in the cafe racing era in Britain in the 1950's, the concept of the Triton was driven by the implicit recognition that no one British manufacturer had quite got the complete package right. Triumphs' went like a rocket, but couldn't handle. Nortons' typically handled well, but the Norton engine was a bit lacklustre.

With the benefit of hindsight, the writing was definitely on the wall for the British bike industry.

But, that's another story...

This node covers two separate uses of the word Triton, I had to lump them together because you can't have two writeups in one node.
Triton (thing)

Triton is one Neptune's moons. It was discovered in 1846 shortly after the discovery of Neptune. It was named after the mythological Triton who was said to be one of Neptune's sons (in Greek Mythology).

This moon orbits Neptune backwards, in scientific terms it is said to have a retrograde orbit. This is the largest moon in the solar system to have such an orbit (all the other retrograde moons are tiny in comparison to the relatively huge Triton). Triton is thought to have been formed in the Kuiper Belt, only to later be captured by Neptune. This theory would explain its orbit, the orbit of Nereid, and the interesting interior that Triton has. This backward orbit is slowly but surely lowering Triton's orbit. Eventually it will either crash into Neptune (which would be nice and violent), or break up into either a ring or a group of smaller moons. Don't worry about this happening anytime soon, it will be millions of years before Triton's orbit degrades enough for this to happen.

Triton is a lot like Pluto. Some scientists have speculated that Triton and Pluto may have once been companion planets, or perhaps they were both created at the same time. This theory is backed up by Pluto's odd orbit (which actually crosses Neptune's at one point).

Triton is tilted 157 degrees in relation to Neptunes axis (which is tilted itself). This means that as it rotates it shows one pole to the sun, and then the other. Which makes for very radical season changes in a very short amount of time. Which would be a problem if we were ever to attempt to do anything with this moon. Future colonization or other use of Triton is a distinct possibility, because it is made up of over 25 percent water (in the form of ice), which makes it an attractive satellite, despite its very cold temperature. In addition to water, Triton has an atmosphere as well. A very thin one though, made up of nitrogen and methane, this atmosphere extends up about 10 kilometers from the moons surface.

Unfortunately Triton is very cold (one of the coldest bodies in the solar system), with an average temperature of -235 C (-391 F), This is mostly due to the fact that it is a very reflective moon (it has an albedo of .8), and does not absorb much in the way of light energy. Most gases freeze at this low temperature, in fact most of the southern hemisphere of Triton is covered in a giant field of frozen nitrogen and methane.

This is one of only four known volcanically active bodies in the solar system (the others are Earth, Io, and Venus). It does not have the kind of volanoes you would normally encounter on earth. Instead it has volcanoes that shoot frozen nitrogen, methane, and sulfur in fantastic eruptions that reach kilometers into the sky, and cover areas of literally hundred of kilometers. These volcanic interactions are supposed to driven by the rapid seasonal changes, and tidal interaction with Neptune. The Voyager 2 probe was actually able to catch a photograph of an eruption close up when it passed by on Aug 25 1989.

You can download some very high resolution images of Triton at the following url

Triton (person)

The tritons are a race of undersea humanoids (featured in many fantasy role-playing games).

Tritons are a noble and attractive race, looking mostly human, although the lower parts of their bodies are definitely fish-like (unlike mermen and mermaids, the tritons do have legs, and not simply a fish tail). Tritons live in giant undersea castles, often sculpted from coral (or rock if there are no large coral formations in the area. A triton castle will usually have a few rooms with air in them (for the manufacturing of weapons, and for the ease of the rare air-breathing guest). But the rest of the complex will be completely filled with water.

A trident community will claim a certain territory of the sea as its own. Anyone trespassing knowingly in this area (and found guilty by the Trident High Court), will be left to the "fate of the sea". This means they are dropped off naked, ten miles from the nearest shore. Anyone ruled innocent by the court will awaken the next day on the shore of a distant land (with their clothing and possessions intact).

Tritons have an affinity with all the natural creatures of the sea (except the kraken, their only natural enemy). Many of them carry a large conch shell, that they can blow, summoning aid from any nearby creatures. (This is not a magical effect, this is more like calling for help). Tritons tend to wear scale mail armor and wield either a trident, spear, or crossbow. They try not to kill in battle, instead attempting to capture their opponents. That is as long as no tritons are killed in the battle. Anyone killing a triton has his days numbered, as the entire race will hunt them down. (The only way around that is to stay away from the sea (and rivers), for the rest of your life.

The tritons are nearly immune to all magic, although some of them are practicing spellcasters (each community will usually have a few members who can use magic). A triton spellbook will usually be a series of shells strung together (with spells carved into them). They do not use the same magical language that humans do, so their spellbooks are of no use to a human mage.

Tri"ton (?), n. [L., fr. Gr..] Gr. Myth.

A fabled sea demigod, the son of Neptune and Amphitrite, and the trumpeter of Neptune. He is represented by poets and painters as having the upper part of his body like that of a man, and the lower part like that of a fish. He often has a trumpet made of a shell.

Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea, Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn. Wordsworth.

2. Zool.

Any one of many species of marine gastropods belonging to Triton and allied genera, having a stout spiral shell, often handsomely colored and ornamented with prominent varices. Some of the species are among the largest of all gastropods. Called also trumpet shell, and sea trumpet.

3. Zool.

Any one of numerous species of aquatic salamanders. The common European species are Hemisalamandra cristata, Molge palmata, and M. alpestris, a red-bellied species common in Switzerland. The most common species the United States is Diemyctylus viridescens. See Illust. under Salamander.


© Webster 1913.

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