NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has spotted a small, dark moon orbiting Makemake, the second brightest icy dwarf planet — after Pluto — in the Kuiper Belt. The moon, provisionally designated S/2015 (136472) 1 and nicknamed MK 2, is estimated to be 100 miles in diameter. Makemake and its moon are more than 50 times farther away than Earth is from the Sun.
The true size of Pluto has been debated since its discovery over 85 years ago. New Horizons’ mission scientists can now answer that question with certainty, confirming that Pluto is larger than all other known Solar System objects beyond the orbit of Neptune.
Geologists said Thursday they are bewildered by images from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft baring unseen landscapes on Pluto with unexpected “snakeskin” textures, colourful chasms routing through ancient landforms, and vivid new views of apparent glacial flows.