Discoveries continue as NASA discovered a fourth moon revolving around the icy planet, Pluto. The fourth moon, named P4 for now was discovered by the Hubble space telescope. P4 is said to be the smallest moon measuring just 21 miles in diameter. The largest moon, Charon is some 648 miles in diameter.
This is great news for NASA, as one of their latest missions New Horizons is scheduled to pass by Pluto in 2015. Scientists believe that the moons revolving Pluto were formed by a collision of some foreign object with the planet. The moon, P4 was first detected by one of Hubble’s Wide Field cameras on 28th June, 2011. When more photos were taken by Hubble on the 3rd and 18th of July, it was confirmed that it was in fact, a moon.
NASA hopes to get a closer look at P4, in 2015
Pluto and its moons are roughly some 5 million miles away. The ability to see objects that far using the Hubble telescope is truly amazing. Even though the telescope has been in operation for long and has been used to discover objects beyond our solar system, it’s impressive to find new bodies still being discovered within our solar system.
Published Date: Jul 21, 2011 11:35 am | Updated Date: Jul 21, 2011 11:35 am