New moon discovered around Pluto

Pluto may not be a planet any more, but the discovery of its fifth moon means it can boast more satellites than the inner four planets combined. The finding could reignite the debate over the icy rock’s planetary status – or lack of. The find also suggests that the neighbourhood surrounding Pluto may be extremely dusty, which is bad news for those trying to a plot a safe course for spacecraft.

The new moon, which showed up as a tiny speck in images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, is 10 to 25 kilometres across and has the temporary name of P5. It travels around Pluto in a 95,000-kilometre-wide orbit in the same plane as the other moons in the dwarf planet’s entourage – Charon, a 1200-kilometre-wide beast of a moon, and the more diminutive Nix and Hydra. Learn more here, here or here.

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