NASA gets a peek at two of Pluto's smaller moons

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Jon Fingas
July 21st, 2015
In this article: hydra, nasa, newhorizons, nix, pluto, science, space
NASA gets a peek at two of Pluto's smaller moons

NASA's New Horizons is showering loads of attention on Pluto and its largest moon Charon, but what about the dwarf planet's tinier moons? Don't worry, the probe is giving these smaller celestial bodies their time in the spotlight. The spacecraft has delivered images of two moons, Nix and Hydra, that are detailed enough to give clues to their geography. Nix, for instance, has a reddish spot that might be a crater. Hydra, meanwhile, has an irregular shape that could easily remind you of a mutant potato.

If you're not satisfied with these blurry shots, you won't have to wait long for something better. More detailed images are coming, and you should see pictures of the two remaining moons (Kerberos and Styx) by mid-October. When that happens, humanity will have its first reasonably complete family portrait for one of the most distant objects in the Solar System.

[Image credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI]

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