Kerberos (moon)

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S/2011 (134340) 1
Pluto P4.jpg
Hubble Space Telescope discovery images of S/2011 P 1.
Discovered by Showalter M. R. and others[1]
Discovery date June 28, 2011[1]
(verified July 20, 2011)[2]
What it orbits Pluto[1]

Kerberos (formerly known as S/2011 (134340) 1[3] and informally as P4) is a small moon of the dwarf planet Pluto. The satellite was discovered on 28 June 2011.[1] It is the fourth moon of Pluto to be discovered.[1][4] The others are Charon, discovered in 1978, Nix and Hydra, which were discovered in 2005, and Styx, discovered in 2012.[1]

Discovery[change | change source]

The moon was discovered by a Hubble Space Telescope observing team led by Mark Showalter,[2] while they were trying to find out if Pluto had any rings.[1] Kerberos was first seen in a photo taken with Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3, on June 28, 2011.[1][3] More photos were taken on July 3 and July 18,[1][3] 2011, to confirm that it exists.[1] The moon was officially verified and announced on July 20, 2011.[2][4] Kerberos was not seen in earlier Hubble photos because the exposure times were shorter.[1] The moon may have appeared as a very faint smudge in photos taken in 2006,[1][3] but was ignored because it was not clear.[1] Kerberos is possibly also visible in images taken in 2010.[3]

Structure[change | change source]

Kerberos has an estimated diameter of 13–34 km (8–21 miles).[1][2][5][6] Kerberos and Pluto's other moons are thought to have been created by a cosmic collision between the dwarf planet and another celestial body early in the Solar System's history.[7]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 "NASA's Hubble Discovers Another Moon Around Pluto". NASA. 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Fourth Moon Adds to Pluto's Appeal". Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "NEW SATELLITE OF (134340) PLUTO: S/2011 (134340) 1". Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams. 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2011-08-01.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Wall, Mike (2011-07-20). "New Pluto Moon Foreshadows More Surprises for NASA Probe En Route". Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  5. "Welcome to the solar system, P4", New Scientist, Reed Business Information (2823), p. 14, 2011-07-30 
  6. Harvey, Samantha (2011-07-20). "Solar System Exploration: Planets: Dwarf Planets: Pluto: Read More". NASA. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  7. Boyle, Alan (2011-07-20). "Scientists spot Pluto's fourth moon". Retrieved 2011-08-01.