Friday, May 6, 2016

Hydra, Pluto's Ice Moon

NASA reports that it has received the first compositional data on Pluto's four small moons from the New Horizons spacecraft.  They outermost satellite, Hydra, is covered mostly in unspoiled water ice.  Pluto's largest moon Charon is also covered mainly in water ice, but spectral analysis suggests that ice particles on Hydra are larger. NASA has described Hydra, only 31 miles long, as resembling the state of Michigan.  I suppose if you squint real hard...  This image was taken at a distance of 150,000 miles but closer pictures might not be forthcoming.  The New Horizons team is looking forward to obtaining data about Pluto's other moons.

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