Pluto’s fifth moon spotted by scientists

Pluto’s fifth moon spotted by scientists

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After Pluto was taken out of the planet club, it has gained a companion. The scientists on July 11, 2012 announced the discovery of the smallest moon around the icy orb.

With this the count of its own moons has become five. Hal Weaver of John Hopkins University said, “We’re not finished searching yet” and think that there might be more.

A team of scientists made the discovery and used the Hubble Space Telescope to scout out the neighbourhood of Pluto ahead of NASA’s spacecraft which has been scheduled to arrive in 2015. When the New Horizons craft was launched in the year 2006, Pluto was then a full-fledged planet.

For now the new found moon is known as P5 till it gets a proper name. It appeared as a faint fleck in the Hubble images. It has been estimated by the scientists that the new moon could be 6 to 15 miles across and is smaller than the nameless one which was spotted last year. The largest moon of Pluto is Charon and was discovered in the year 1978. Then two smaller moons Nix and Hydra were found in the year 2005. The moons were formed after an ancient collision between Pluto and an object in the Kuiper Belt.