NASA`s Hubble finds Pluto`s 5th moon
Los Angeles: Scientists announced on Wednesday about the finding of the smallest yet fifth moon circling the dwarf planet Pluto.
The smallest moon was discovered by a team of scientists who used the Hubble Space Telescope to explore Pluto’s neighborhood ahead of a NASA spacecraft, New Horizons, scheduled to arrive in 2015.
“We’re not finished searching yet," said Hal Weaver of Johns Hopkins University, who thinks there may be more lurking.
The newfound moon which is known as P5 until it gets a proper name - appeared as a faint fleck in the Hubble images. The mini-moon is estimated to be 6 to 15 miles across, smaller than the still nameless one that scientists spotted last year, which is 8 to 21 miles wide. P5 could help shed light on how the Pluto system formed and evolved.
While, Pluto’s largest moon, the 650-mile-wide Charon, was discovered in 1978, its two smaller moons, Nix and Hydra, were found in 2005.
The moons are considered to have formed after an ancient collision between Pluto and an object in the Kuiper Belt, a disk teeming with small bodies that lies beyond the orbit of Neptune.
Names for the new moon and last year’s discovery will not be proposed until the team finishes analyzing the Hubble data in case there are more hidden moons, said Mark Showalter of the SETI Institute.
Showalter also said that he favors names that go together - like the mythological Greek couple Orpheus and Eurydice.
“If we happen to find more moons, then we will have to pick a different story from Greek mythology,” he said in an email.
Pluto, which was discovered in 1930 by the American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh was regarded as the ninth planet in the Solar System. However, it was recategorised as a ‘dwarf planet’ due to the discovery that it is only one of several large bodies within the Kuiper belt.
With Agency inputs
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Zee Media Exclusive: Kangana, Madhavan talk about their film 'Tanu Weds Manu Returns'
- DNA: Harmful chemicals found in Maggi, Nestle India still in denial mode
- CM Kejriwal shortlists 39 'unwanted' IAS officers in Delhi
- Rajasthan: Gujjars revive reservation agitation, block rail track
- Zee Media Exclusive interview with Congress leader Kamal Nath
- DNA: Modi-led NDA govt's hits and misses in one year
- J Jayalalithaa sworn-in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
- Mumbai: One injured in shootout at Film City
- ISIS to buy first nuclear weapon from Pak?
- Mumbai: CCTV captures assailant with gun at Film City
- Dr Subhash Chandra Show: Aspiring for more than what you have!
- BJP now central pole of Indian politics: Arun Jaitley
- Zee Media Exclusive chat with 'Tanu Weds Manu Returns' cast Kangana, Madhavan
- Maharashtra FDA sends Maggi noodles for lab testing
- Mathura SSP receives death threat letter, message for PM Modi
- IPL 2015, Qualifier 2: CSK vs RCB - As it happened...
- India to soon have its own space shuttle!
- PM Narendra Modi graces Digvijay Singh's son wedding reception
- Rahul Gandhi to pressurise govt to act on one-rank-one-pension issue
- Goa Board SSC Exam Results 2015 announced
- ISIS close to buying nuclear weapon from Pakistan?
- Manohar Parrikar visits forward areas along LoC, reviews security situation
- Businessman shot next to Amitabh Bachchan's shooting location in Mumbai Film City
- There will be no delay in appointing CIC, CVC: Jitendra Singh
- Credibility of Prime Minister's Office restored by BJP, says Arun Jaitley
- CBSE Board 10th Results 2015: Cbse.nic.in & Cbseresults.nic class 10th X board exam results 2015 date announced
- ISIS justifies raping slave girls, says Michelle Obama is 'worth $40'
- LIVE SCORE: 1st Test, Day 2 - England vs New Zealand
- Arvind Kejriwal to highlight AAP govt's 100 days work on Monday