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Discoveries of Pluto's Tiniest Moons

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Monday, November 5, 2012 - 9:00am

Speaker Name(s): 

Mark Showalter

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

SETI Institute
Seminar Type/Subject

Event Details & Abstract: 

Images from the Hubble Space Telescope have revealed two additional tiny moons of Pluto in the last two years. With these discoveries, we are learning that Pluto hosts a rich dynamical system, which is beginning to rival the satellite systems orbiting the four giant planets. Because the New Horizons spacecraft will reach Pluto in less than three years, it is urgent that we obtain as complete a picture as possible of the environment through which it will fly. Mark Showalter will discuss the discoveries of "P4" and "P5" and will present the latest information about their orbits, their sizes, and how they fit into the Pluto system overall. He will also provide an update about ongoing searches for additional moons and rings.