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Born on this day
James Larkin White
James Larkin White was a cowboy, guano miner, cave explorer, and park ranger for the National Park Service.
28th week in year
11 July 2019

Important eventsBack

Astronomers announce the discovery of Styx, the fifth moon of Pluto11.7.2012

Wikipedia (04 Jul 2013, 11:52)

Styx was discovered by a team led by astronomer Mark R. Showalter
, using fourteen sets of images taken between 26 June and 9 July 2012 by the Wide Field Camera 3 fitted to the Hubble Space Telescope. The discovery was announced on 11 July 2012. Styx is about half as bright as the dimmest previously known object in the system, Kerberos, and about one hundred thousandth as bright as Pluto. It was designated S/2012 (134340) 1, and informally referred to as P5.

The survey work leading to the discovery of Styx was in preparation for the mission of the New Horizons space probe, currently en route to the Pluto system with flyby scheduled for 14 July 2015. The discovery of another small Plutonian moon has heightened concerns that this region of space may harbor more bodies too small to be detected, raising fears that the probe may be damaged by an uncharted body or ring as it traverses the system at a speed of over 13 km/s. Tiny moons, such as Saturn's moon Pallene, tend to be associated with tenuous rings or arcs, because their gravity is unable to hold on to material ejected by meteoroid impacts; such diffuse material represents the chief navigational hazard. Current plans call for New Horizons to pass just inside the orbit of the innermost moon, Charon, but this could be changed if observations or modeling suggest a potential threat.

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