ASA's Hubble Space Telescope has spotted a new moon orbiting the dwarf planet Pluto, the fifth such satellite to be discovered and the smallest one to date.
The moon, provisionally named S/2012 (134340) 1, or P5, travels in an orbit around Pluto that is 95,000 kilometres in diameter and lies in the same plane as the orbits of its other moons.
"The moons form a series of neatly nested orbits, a bit like Russian dolls,"
Astronomers hope to learn even more about Pluto and its moons when the New Horizons spacecraft makes a high-speed fly-by past the distant dwarf planet in July 2015, getting as close as 10,000 kilometres from Pluto.
Scientists hope the NASA spacecraft will bring back the first detailed images of Pluto, which is so small and far away that even the Hubble can only barely detect very large features on its surface.
Pluto is what it is, regardless of how homo sapiens, in its infinite (albeit ever-shifting) wisdom, designates it. It's kind of funny, on a cosmic scale. But I'm glad to hear that the thing has five moons. Somehow that gives me a charge.
I'm with you, Sinc. We pronounced Uranus the same way. Strangely enough, we never joked about it.
That's still got to be one of my favorite jokes from futurama:
Farnsworth: "it isn't called Uranus anymore since the renamed it in 2020 to put an end to that stupid joke once and for all."
Fry: "so what's it called now?"