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Not-a-planet Pluto boasts five moons

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Not-a-planet Pluto boasts five moons

Post by Admin on Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:07 am

Not-a-planet Pluto boasts five moons

LOS ANGELES Pluto may have been kicked out of the planet club,but it hasgainedyetanothercompanion.
Scientists announced the discovery of the smallest moon yet aroundtheicyorb,bringingthetally of known moons to five.
We're not finished searching yet, said Hal Weaver of Johns Hopkins University,who thinks there may be more lurking.
The discovery was made by a team of scientists who used the Hubble Space Telescope to scout out Pluto's neighborhood.
Pluto was a full-fledged planet,but has been demoted to dwarf planet status by the International Astronomical Union.
The newfound moon known asP5untilitgetsapropernameappeared as a faint fleck in the Hubble images.Scientists estimated the mini-moon to be 6 to 15 miles across,smaller than the still nameless one that they spotted last year.
Pluto's largest moon,the 650-mile-wide Charon,was discovered in 1978.Two smaller moons,Nix and Hydra,were found in 2005.
The moons are thought to have formed after an ancient collision between Pluto and an object.
Mark Showalter of the SETI Institute said names for the new moon and last year's discovery will not be proposed until the team finishes analyzing the Hubble data in case there are more hidden moons.
Showalter said he favors names that go together like the mythological Greek couple Orpheus and Eurydice.
If we happen to find more moons,then we will have to pick a different story from Greek mythology, he said in an email.AP
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