Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Pluto's Smallest Moons Receive Official Names

pluto system

The names of Pluto's two smallest known moons, previously referred to as "P4" and “P5,” have been formally approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). P4 has been named Kerberos, after the three-headed dog of Greek mythology. P5 has been named Styx, after the mythological river that separates the world of the living from the realm of the dead. They join Pluto's previously known moons Charon, Nix and Hydra. According to IAU rules, Pluto's moons are named for characters associated with the Underworld of Greek and Roman mythology.

Mark Showalter, senior research scientist at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., led the team of astronomers that discovered Kerberos and Styx. Both were first seen in lengthy exposures of the Pluto system obtained by the Hubble Space Telescope. Kerberos was discovered in 2011 and Styx in 2012. The images were obtained in support of NASA's New Horizons mission, which will fly past Pluto in July 2015.

More - Link >>> http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/news_center/news/20130702.php

Sources NASA, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

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