Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Pluto 5 - Earth 1

    Looks like Pluto isn't done with surprises either.  I love my little Planet. (Yeah, I know.)
    Our little neighbor out there apparently has another moon, bringing the total to 5 now.
    So the newest one isn't that big. Right now they are estimating a 6 - 15 mile diameter.  Makes it the smallest moon in the solar system. 
    Here's a list of Pluto's moons and when found.
    Charon was found in 1978.
    Nix and Hydra were found by Hubble in 2006
    S/2011 P 1 or P4 was found in 2011.
    P 5  just found in 2012

   Image was taken by Hubble from 2.8 billion miles away. 



Dave Tackett said...

Totally with you. I'm looking forward to 2015. And it is a "dwarf planet" so calling it a "little planet" should be OK even with the most adamant anti-planet status people.

Beam Me Up said...

I am fine with dwarf planet kinda splitting the difference. But can't you see something is whacked here? Call them moons all you want but just looking at the photo you can tell some of them come damn close in size to Pluto. None appear to be located in any of the L points that would have to exist and if they are locked into a systems of local Lagrangian something even weirder is happening. Now we could have an argument about Pluto clearing it's local area - One would have to think that so many bodies basically following a main body through complicated orbital paths. Who wants to put money on these possibly being impact debris and one would guess fairly new?

Dave Tackett said...

I suspect you're right about the impact debris for the smaller moons (perhaps all but Charon). Though the sizes in the photo are distorted (average estimated sized in KM are below)

(S/2011 P 1)___24
(S/2012 P 1)___18

Beam Me Up said...

Hey thanks for the additional info Dave, yep see, they are all (except Charon....maybe) extraordinarily close in size and all follow the same basic orbit around the sun. If we accept the formation of our own Moon then we do have to look at Charon as well and consider the same impact event