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Naming of Pluto's two small Moons

Naming of Pluto's two small Moons

28 June 2006

The two small Pluto moons with temporary designations S/2005 P 1 and S/2005 P 2, discovered in mid-May 2005 with the Hubble Space Telescope by Weaver et. al., have now been named by the International Astromical Union.

Hubble image of Pluto system

The two smaller moons were named respectively Hydra and Nix. In Greek mythology, Nyx is the goddess of the night and Hydra is the nine-headed serpent with poisonous blood, which garded the entrance of the underworld (Hades). Because the name Nyx is already assigned to an asteroid, the Egyptian spelling Nix was selected for the small moon of Pluto.

The two moons Nix and Hydra are roughly 5000 times fainter than Pluto and their orbit lies two to three times farther out than the orbit of Charon, Pluto's larger moon.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
21-Jun-2024 03:59 UT

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