Pluto and its moons, Hubble image

Pluto and its moons, Hubble image

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Credit: NASA, ESA, H. Weaver (JHUAPL), A. Stern (SwRI), and the HST Pluto Companion Search Team/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Pluto and its moons. Hubble Space Telescope (HST) image of Pluto and its three moons: Charon (near Pluto at centre), Nix, and Hydra. Photographed by Hubble in 2006, Nix and Hydra (the faint dots at right) are roughly 5000 times fainter than Pluto and are about two to three times farther from Pluto than its large moon, Charon, which was discovered in 1978. Pluto, a dwarf planet, is considered to be a Kuiper Belt Object, not a true planet. In 2015, it will be visited for the first time by a spacecraft from Earth, with the New Horizons spacecraft flyby due to take place on 14 July 2015. Image published in 2009, from Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS).

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