Click on image for full size
Image courtesy Dr. R. Albrecht (ESA/ESO Space Telescope European Coordinating Facility) and NASA.
Searching for more moons of Pluto
News story originally written on February 28, 2003
Astronomers are starting to search for more moons of Pluto.
Pluto only has one moon that we know about. Pluto's moon is called Charon.
But Pluto is very far away, so it is hard to see even with very big telescopes.
Some astronomers think Pluto may have more moons that we haven't found yet.
In a few years a spacecraft named New Horizons will go to Pluto.
New Horizons will be the very first spacecraft to visit Pluto!
Scientist want to know whether Pluto has more moons before New Horizons gets there.
If Pluto has more moons, the spacecraft can study them when it zooms past Pluto.
Astronomers will use telescopes on Earth and maybe the Hubble Space Telescope
to look for moons around Pluto before New Horizons is launched.
Why do scientists think there might be more moons around Pluto?
Astronomers have discovered 41 new moons around Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune in the last few years!
But they haven't found any new moons around Pluto. Not yet, anyway!
Maybe they will find some more moons later this year.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, ranging from seismology
, rocks and minerals
, and Earth system science
You might also be interested in:
Pluto is a frigid ball of ice and rock that orbits far from the Sun on the frozen fringes of our Solar System. Considered a planet, though a rather odd one, from its discovery in 1930 until 2006, it was...more
Pluto has // Call the moon count function defined in the document head print_moon_count('pluto'); moons. One of the moons is very big. The big moon is name Charon. The other two moons are small. They don't...more
The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is really neat! It was first launched in 1990, but scientists started building it in the 1970's! We have found all kinds of objects like stars, nebulae and galaxies. The...more
Astronomers are starting to search for more moons of Pluto. Pluto only has one moon that we know about. Pluto's moon is called Charon. But Pluto is very far away, so it is hard to see even with very big...more
An eclipse of the Sun could be seen from a small area on Earth on May 31, 2003. People in Scotland, Iceland, and Greenland had a chance to see the eclipse. An eclipse of the Sun happens when the Moon moves...more
Look out for the Perseid meteor shower! People in the Northern Hemisphere will be able to see the largest number of meteors from the shower on Tuesday August 12th and Wednesday August 13th, 2003. To see...more
Scientists have been studying special places of the chilly ocean near Antarctica. They found that these places are favorite spots for thousands of penguins! Much of the ocean near Antarctica is covered...more