Pluto’s Moon Kerberos Gets Into the Picture

Kerberos imaged by New Horizons on July 14, 2015 several hours before its close pass by Pluto. (NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI)
Kerberos imaged by New Horizons on July 14, 2015 several hours before its close pass by Pluto. (NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI)

For decades, far-off Pluto and its moons were just a collection of bright spots in even our most powerful telescopes. Now the dwarf planet and its family of five moons has been revealed in intimate detail with the long-awaited flyby of the New Horizons spacecraft.

Last week the “family portrait” of the Pluto system was made complete when our best close-up arrived of Kerberos, a tiny 7-mile-wide moon that nobody even knew about until 2011. And surprise: it looks like a contact binary!

Read the rest of my article on Discovery News: Space here.

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