NASA scientists discover a tiny fifth moon around Pluto.

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hubble-pluto-moonJuly 12, Washington: Astronomers have discovered with the Hubble Space Telescope a fifth moon orbiting the dwarf planet Pluto in our solar system, announced Wednesday, July 11 NASA. This moon, visible in the Hubble images as a spot of light, apparently irregularly shaped and measure 10 to 25 km in diameter. It is a circular orbit of 95,000 kilometers in diameter around Pluto.

“The Moons of Pluto are in orbits of various sizes that seem to fit perfectly into each other like Russian dolls,” notes Mark Showalter of the SETI Institute and scientific leader of the team who made this discovery. These astronomers are intrigued by the fact that a small planet may have a complex collection of natural satellites.

The discovery of this new moon called P5 provides additional clues about the formation and evolution of Pluto and its moons. The theory most often advanced, all moons are the result of a collision occurring there are billions of years between Pluto and a big belt asteroid called Kuiper, which contains a very large number.

Charon, the largest moon of Pluto, was discovered in 1978. In 2006, the Hubble observations were flushed out two other moons, Nix and Hydra. Finally in 2011, data collected by Hubble had helped to uncover another moon called P4.

The New Horizons spacecraft from NASA is on his way to perform a flyby speed of Pluto in 2015. New Horizons and should transmit the first detailed images of the dwarf planet and its moons.

For years, astronomers rely on infrared imaging system for Hubble’s successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, for even more detailed observations as the chemical composition of the surface of Pluto and its moons and many asteroids operating in the more distant Kuiper Belt.

News Gathered by India News

Posted by on Thursday, July 12th, 2012. Filed under Education, Tech. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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