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Fifth moon of Pluto discovered


Posted on Saturday, 14 July, 2012 | Comment icon 27 comments | News tip by: Waspie_Dwarf


Image credit: NASA

 
Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have discovered a new moon orbiting Pluto.

Known as 'P5', the small moon is only between 6 and 15 miles across and has been found just one year after Pluto's fourth moon. The discovery has helped boost intrigue in the icy world and its moons ahead of the arrival of NASA's New Horizons spacecraft which is due to reach Pluto in 2015 after a trip that will have taken nine years.

"We're finding more and more, so our concern about hazards is going up," said Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder. "Every new satellite is a debris producer."

"The discovery of another moon around Pluto is exciting news for planetary science, but it's also likely causing some anxiety for the team in charge of New Horizons, a spacecraft set to be the first probe ever to visit the dwarf planet."

  View: Full article |  Source: MSNBC

  Discuss: View comments (27)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #18 Posted by Atlantia on 14 July, 2012, 22:08
Unless I go on a diet soon I might be. LOL, Could be useful? Feeling peckish? Just pluck a donut out of orbit!
Comment icon #19 Posted by csspwns on 15 July, 2012, 0:56
tat moon is small enough to be an asteroid
Comment icon #20 Posted by Device on 15 July, 2012, 3:05
Old Pluto and all it's little moons eh? The little dark-horse of the solar system. Good on it, lol.
Comment icon #21 Posted by Ryegrog on 15 July, 2012, 23:29
Since Pluto is no longer considered the 9th planet in our solar system because of it's size, Does that mean a Chihuahua is no longer a dog because it's smaller then a Great Dane or other dog breeds bigger then it? LOL
Comment icon #22 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 16 July, 2012, 0:00
Since Pluto is no longer considered the 9th planet in our solar system because of it's size, Does that mean a Chihuahua is no longer a dog because it's smaller then a Great Dane or other dog breeds bigger then it? LOL Pluto has not lost it's planetary status because of it's size. It lost it because it has not cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit All the true planets dominate their orbits. They have swept clear, or captured as satellites, almost all the material that shared their orbit. Pluto has not done this, it is just one Kuiper Belt Object amongst thousands. If it had cleared it's or... [More]
Comment icon #23 Posted by Kludge808 on 16 July, 2012, 9:22
Having moons is an extraordinarily poor reason for calling for the reinstatement of Pluto as a planet. Many asteroids have moons, Mercury and Venus do not. Errr ... Phobos & Deimos? While they may well be captured asteroids, they still are Mars' moons.
Comment icon #24 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 16 July, 2012, 9:57
Errr ... Phobos & Deimos? While they may well be captured asteroids, they still are Mars' moons. And your point is? I didn't mention Mars. Mercury & Venus still have no natural satellites. My point still remains valid.
Comment icon #25 Posted by Ryegrog on 16 July, 2012, 16:18
Pluto has not lost it's planetary status because of it's size. It lost it because it All the true planets dominate their orbits. They have swept clear, or captured as satellites, almost all the material that shared their orbit. Pluto has not done this, it is just one Kuiper Belt Object amongst thousands. If it had cleared it's orbit it would still be a planet as it fulfills the other requirements. The IAU definitions of a planet and a dwarf planet are as follows: Source: Wikipedia http://universetoday,com/.../why-pluto-is-no-longer-a-planet/That is one factor why Pluto is no longer considered ... [More]
Comment icon #26 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 16 July, 2012, 19:25
http://universetoday,com/.../why-pluto-is-no-longer-a-planet/That is one factor why Pluto is no longer considered a traditional planet but size did play a roll. Wrong, Pluto is not classified a dwarf planet on size. The small size of Pluto and the fact that objects as massive were being discovered lead to the debate about Pluto's status but in the agreed definitions of planet and dwarf planet Pluto's size was not a factor in it being downgraded. From YOUR link: Is Pluto a planet? Does it qualify? For an object to be a planet, it needs to meet these three requirements defined by the IAU: It nee... [More]
Comment icon #27 Posted by Kludge808 on 20 July, 2012, 10:48
And your point is? I didn't mention Mars. Mercury & Venus still have no natural satellites. My point still remains valid. Errr ... ummm ... my point is I can't read? Sorry.


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