Sunday, August 21, 2011

New Moon in Pluto

Currently we have spacecraft toward the edge of the solar system at speeds exceeding 50,000 m.p.h (80,000 km/h), aimed straight at Pluto. Even at that blistering speed, the New Horizons probe, launched back in 2006 before Pluto was downgraded from a fully certified planet to a dwarf planet, won't arrive until 2015.

Pluto as we known have drawn with a ring surround the planet have sent image that popped up in Hubble's gallery on June 28 didn't show any rings, but it did show that Pluto has a moon nobody knew about. By P4 discovered by US Naval Observatory telescope in 1978, spotted by Hubble in 2005. There's a good reason P4 escaped notice until now; it diameter, somewhere between 8 and 21 miles (13 and 33 km), makes it all but impossible to see from Earth.

Underworld myths are the rule for moons of Pluto, for moons of Uranus, it must be characters from the works of Shakespeare and Alexander Pope, specifically Pope's poem "The Rape of the Lock." The IAU tiny Pluto, just one half the size of Earth's moon, to the status of dwarf planet. The ruling caused anguish to schoolchildren around the world while making some scientists rejoice.

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