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NASA Science

Hubble Discovers 5th Moon of Pluto 137

Posted by Soulskill
from the more-traffic-for-some-new-horizons-frogger dept.
Stirling Newberry writes "This image shows 'P5,' the placeholder name for a fifth natural moon of Pluto, a tiny sliver that orbits ~29,000 miles from its primary in a circular orbit. Other than Charon, Hubble has been the means by which astronomers have found all of the known moons of Pluto. 'The new detection will help scientists navigate NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft through the Pluto system in 2015, when it makes an historic and long-awaited high-speed flyby of the distant world. The team is using Hubble’s powerful vision to scour the Pluto system to uncover potential hazards to the New Horizons spacecraft. Moving past the dwarf planet at a speed of 30,000 miles per hour, New Horizons could be destroyed in a collision with even a BB-shot-size piece of orbital debris.'"
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Hubble Discovers 5th Moon of Pluto

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  • by Morgaine (4316) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @03:53PM (#40619081)

    A probe in orbit around every planet or dwarf planet in the solar system would seems like a fairly basic NASA objective to me.

    I know that New Horizons will be using its velocity to also attempt flybys of one or more other Kuiper belt objects after it shoots through the Pluto system, and that is very worthwhile indeed, but we also seriously need a probe in orbit around Pluto itself.

    I hope that they're working on such a mission already, so that when New Horizons returns Pluto data in 2015 they just need to tweak a few parameters and be ready to launch an orbital mission. Such new data could even be sent to an orbital mission that's already en route to Pluto.

  • Pluto is a planet (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @03:54PM (#40619099)

    The word planet dates back to antiquity.
    IAU was founded in 1919.

    What gives IAU the authority to muck with definition of something prediating itself by thousands of years?

    Scientists are free to develop their own definitions and language to help convey concepts with necessary precision. I however refuse to accept their self granting of authority to redefine the meaning of popular terms. Languages belongs to everyone not just members of IAU. Internal votes conducted mostly to whore attention don't cut it.

    Pluto will always be a planet to me for as long as I exist. Anyone who feels the need to correct me can go fuck themselves as far as I'm concerned.

  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @04:07PM (#40619297)

    Conservadroids

    o.O Is that a new phone?

    Could be! A phone that dials the same number over and over again without any algorithms to determine why that number is disconnected from reality. Or a phone that automatically orders and pays for stuff with your credit card that is never delivered or is delivered to rich people that don't need it. (Oh ya, I'm going to get flamed...)

  • by Cuddlah (2677847) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @04:12PM (#40619381)
    You hit ANYTHING with a BB at 30,000 miles an hour, it's a catastrophic collision.
  • by RenderSeven (938535) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @06:27PM (#40621765)
    Or you could buy the iLiberal that also automatically orders and pays for stuff with your credit card that is never delivered or is delivered to poor people that don't need it. It's all fun and games as long as its someone else having their money taken. Any one else bloody sick of the primary difference between liberal/conservative being whom you think its OK to steal from? And the only person they both agree its OK to steal from seems to be me.

"Someone's been mean to you! Tell me who it is, so I can punch him tastefully." -- Ralph Bakshi's Mighty Mouse

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