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Jul 3, 2013 9:41 AM by Stephen Bowers

Pluto's newly discovered moons have names

Three of Pluto's five moons have had names for a while: Charon, Hydra, and Nix. Now, the final two moons around the dwarf planet in our outer solar system have names, too.

A report from NBC News says the moon referred to as P4 has been named Kerberos. The moon previously known as P5 is now known as Styx. The scientists who discovered the two moons orbiting Pluto announced their names Tuesday after those names were approved by the International Astronomical Union.

The two moons were discovered when a team of scientists led by the SETI Institute using the Hubble Telescope while search for obstacles that NASA's probe "New Horizons" could encounter while passing Pluto and its moons in 2015.

The moon Kerberos is thought to be just 8-21 miles across and orbits Pluto at a distance of about 37,000 miles. At 6-16 miles in diameter, Styx is smaller and orbits a bit closer to icy Pluto at a distance of about 26,000 miles. The average distance to our moon from Earth is a little less than 239,000 miles. 


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