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[BBC] - Hubble spies fourth moon at Pluto

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

The Hubble Space Telecope observations of P4 were made in June and July

Quote:
Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have identified another moon around the dwarf planet Pluto.

It becomes the fourth object known to be circling the distant world after the long-recognised Charon and recently observed Nix and Hydra satellites.

Scientists are temporarily calling the new moon P4 and estimate its diameter to be 13 to 34 km (of 8 to 21 miles).

Pluto, controversially demoted from full planet status in 2006, will be the target of a big space mission in 2015.

Nasa's New Horizons probe is due to fly past the icy world and should get a good look at the moons, also.

"This is a fantastic discovery," said New Horizons' principal investigator Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. "Now that we know there's another moon in the Pluto system, we can plan close-up observations of it during our flyby."
Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14220620
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post #2 of 6
plutos not a planet, so how can it have moons?
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post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoblikat View Post
plutos not a planet, so how can it have moons?
Moons are just satellite objects of much larger ones. It doesn't need to be a planet.

Also, repost
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post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoblikat View Post
plutos not a planet, so how can it have moons?
Pluto's still classified as a planet, but not a full planet like Earth, Mars, etc. Instead it's now considered a dwarf-planet. However even though it's a dwarf it can still influence other celestial bodies and consequently nothing keeps it from having moons.
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post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoblikat View Post
plutos not a planet, so how can it have moons?
Every object that has mass has a gravitational pull. Just because its not a "planet" doesn't mean that it cannot have moons.
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post #6 of 6
Yeah even asteroids have satellites(moons):


We suspect lots of Kuiper belt objects like Pluto have moons as well.
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