New but tiny moon found circling distant Pluto
HOUSTON - July 20, 2011 (WPVI) -- Distant and tiny Pluto has been hiding something from Earth: another moon.
NASA announced Wednesday that the Hubble Space Telescope has found a fourth moon circling Pluto, which had been demoted from full planet to dwarf planet. Astronomers had been looking to see if Pluto had a ring, but instead they found another object circling the dwarf planet that is 3 billion miles from Earth.
But it is a mini-moon. It is only eight to 21 miles wide. Pluto's biggest moon, Charon (SHARE-on), is 80 times bigger. The other two moons are Nix and Hydra.
Until astronomers decide a name, this moon is called P4.
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