Spacecraft films Pluto’s largest moon in orbit
by Science News Staff
2:38pm, August 11, 2014
Guest post by Christopher Crockett
Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, whirl around each other in images that NASA released August 8. When NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft snapped these photos last month, the probe was roughly 10 times as far from Earth as it was from Pluto. It is scheduled to rendezvous with the dwarf planet next summer.
At one-twelfth the mass of Pluto, Charon is the most massive moon in the solar system in comparison with its host (dwarf) planet. All that mass yanks Pluto around a point that’s above the planet’s surface, leading some to argue that the duo should be classified as a “binary planet.”
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