Visit the USGS Home Page Go to the Astrogeology Research Program Home Page USGS Astrogeology Research Program

Hubble Spots Possible New Moons Around Pluto

HST images showing two new candidate satellites orbiting around Pluto
HST images showing two new candidate satellites orbiting around Pluto
The Hubble Space Telescope images shown left, taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys, reveal Pluto, its large moon Charon, and the planet's two new candidate satellites. Between May 15 and May 18, 2005, Charon, and the potential moons, provisionally designated P1 and P2, all appear to rotate counterclockwise around Pluto. P1 and P2 move less than Charon because they are farther from Pluto, and therefore would be orbiting at slower speeds. P1 and P2 are thousands of times less bright than Pluto and Charon. The enhanced-color images of Pluto (the brightest object) and Charon (to the right of Pluto) were constructed by combining short exposure images. The images of the new satellites were made from longer exposures.

More: NASA - Hubble Spots Possible New Moons Around Pluto - view more images and get the full story on this exciting discovery!