Another moon for Pluto!

Pluto may have been demoted from full planetary status (now classified as a dwarf planet), but the tiny icy world has now been found to have a fourth moon, discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope on June 28, 2011 and temporarily named P4. Even Mercury is larger than Pluto, yet has no known moon, and neither does Venus, which is almost the same size as Earth. But little Pluto has at least four that we know of! The image below shows all four moons around Pluto (Charon, Hydra, Nix and P4):

Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Showalter (SETI Institute)

Even with Hubble, the moons are not much more than pinpoints of light, but hopefully the New Horizons spacecraft will get a closer look when it arrives at Pluto in 2015…