Photos of the Sun

Hydra moon. Solar System Satellites

Hydra moon. Solar System Satellites

Among the last known satellites of Pluto are Hydra and Nix. The Hydra moon was discovered at the end of 2005, and the Hubble Space Telescope confirmed its existence in February 2006. Initially it received the provisional name S / 2005 P 1, until in June 2006 the International Astronomical Union renamed it Hydra. They have followed the line of nomenclature of Pluto and its moons, named with elements of the underworld of Greek mythology. Hydra is the name of the nine-headed snake that Hercules killed in the second of his twelve works.

In the image we can see the Hydra moon, and in the foreground the Nix moon. At the moment, Hydra is the outermost moon of Pluto's known satellites. In order to locate Hydra, the New Horizons probe had to take 48 10-second images of Pluto on July 18 and July 20.

The calculated magnitude of Hydra is +22.91, so it is totally impossible to observe the satellite from Earth. Its diameter is between 48 and 165 kilometers, and it needs 38 Earth days to go around Pluto completely.

Discovering new moons in Pluto is an astronomical event. Since the existence of Pluto was known, 48 years had to pass to discover the moon Charon. It has taken another 27 years to discover Nix and Hydra. The New Horizons probe is getting closer and closer to Pluto, so new satellites of the dwarf planet could come to light in the near future.

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