back to article NASA snaps first full family photo of Pluto and its five moons

The New Horizons probe, currently speeding towards a July rendezvous with Pluto, has sent back the first images of the dwarf planet and the five moons that orbit it. "New Horizons is now on the threshold of discovery," said mission science team member John Spencer, of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. "If …

  1. Number6

    Two missing

    A shame it's two short or we could have had a picture of the Dwarf and its seven Snow Whites.

  2. PleebSmash

    why the artist's impression of the spacecraft

    Why not use the public domain imagery in question?

  3. Robert Helpmann??

    What happened to Charon?

    Charon was missing, or at least was unlabeled, in the linked GIF file. I wonder why it is being shy about having its picture taken. It is in the closest orbit around Pluto, so it ought to show up. Maybe if I squint...

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: What happened to Charon?

      Edited out to show the smaller moons.


      "Images were extensively processed to reduce the bright glare of Pluto and Charon and largely remove the dense field of background stars (center and right panels)."

      1. frank ly

        Re: What happened to Charon?

        Charon and Pluto wobble about each other, their centre of orbit being outside of either of them. That wriggling blob in the middle is probably the two of them and all that can be 'seen' at long range with a long exposure. The other moons might orbit around the centre of gravity of the Pluto-Charon combination since their orbits seem to have quite smooth paths in the animation shown.

  4. Paul J Turner


    That should be 'dwarf moons'?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Surely...

      It's better to deal with dwarf moons than dwarf morons.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Surely...

        "These are no dwarf moons..."

  5. x 7

    I've never seen a dwarf moon. Where do they do it? Bus windows?

    1. tony2heads

      @x 7

      in the mines of Moria

    2. cray74

      "I've never seen a dwarf moon. Where do they do it? Bus windows?"

      New Orleans during Mardi Gras. I didn't ask the stranger at my neighborhood bar to share his photos of Mardi Gras and dwarf moons, but it was hard to look away once he put the photos in front of me.

  6. Mine's a pint

    Units please!

    "The probe is currently 55 million miles away from its target and is speeding onwards at four kilometers per second"

    This confusion is just why we have the Vulture central units.

    "The probe is currently 640 million brontosaurus away from its target and is speeding onwards at 0.1334% of the maximum velocity of a sheep in a vacuum."

    There, fixed it for you.

  7. Zog_but_not_the_first


    I vote for one moon to be called "Tyrion".

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Nomenclature

      Why not Thorin then? Guess the fame of him will outlast any actually fashionable TV movie (and lame books) destined to be forgotten soon.

      Anyway I guess the IAU will only accept classic names from afterlife mythologies, especially from the Greek/Roman one from which all names actually come from...

      And for new bodies Tolkien's names from its deep, creative mythology would have IMHO better chances to be accepted (after all the largest Uranus moons are named after Shakespeare's characters) than names from any actual "bestseller" which may not stand the ages...

  8. Joe Gurman

    The heliosphere

    Since "heliosphere" refers to that part of space which is primarily influenced by the Sun's stellar wind and magnetic field, New Horizons has never been anywhere but the heliosphere.

  9. x 7

    Isn't all this "dwarf" stuff a bit oppressive nowadays.

    Shouldn't we really be speaking of MORGs and PORGs nowadays? Moon of restricted growth / Planet of restricted growth? Of maybe of "moons which are physically challenged"?

    Got to keep the lefty loonies and Hampstead luvvies happy

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