Pluto’s 5th and largest moon Chardon was discovered back in 1978, and now a team of astronomers are happy to announce the recent findings of Pluto’s 5th moon: P5. Via a series of images captured with the Hubble telescope, the discovery continues a pattern that resembles “nested Russian dolls,” according to Mark Showalter of the SETI Institute in Mountain View.
In 2006 Pluto’s second and third moons were discovered, Nix and Hydron, then another later named P4 in 2006. The 5th moon discovery now gives scientists more clues as to how the Pluto galaxy was formed, evolving the current theory that Pluto was incepted from a collision between the planet and an unknown object in the Kuiper Belt many ages ago.
Considering Pluto’s smaller size, it is intriguing there can be such a complex collection of satellites involved. The estimated shape of the moon is irregular compared to the others, and measures 10 to 25 kilometers across.
NASA’s space probe, which is making its way to Pluto as we speak, is set to flyby high speed sometime in 2015 and will bring us the first ever captured images of the dwarf planet using the Hubble’s successor, the James Webb Space Telescope–picking up exciting new footage such as Pluto’s surface chemistry, moons, and other various masses inhabiting the Kuiper Belt.
(via Daily Galaxy)