From possible ice volcanoes to twirling moons, NASA’s New Horizons science team is discussing more than 50 exciting discoveries about Pluto at this week’s 47th Annual Meeting of the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences. The two cryovolcano candidates are large features measuring tens of miles across and several miles high.
Images just sent back to Earth this week of Pluto’s tiny moon tiny Kerberos taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft complete the family portrait of Pluto’s moons. Kerberos has a double-lobed shape suggesting that it could have been formed by the merger of two smaller objects. It also appears to be smaller than scientists expected and has a highly-reflective surface, counter to predictions prior to the Pluto flyby in July.
On July 14th, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will flyby Pluto, offering the first close-up look at that small, distant world. You can help decide what names will be used on subsequent maps of the dwarf planet and its largest moon, Charon, as the SETI Institute announces the launch of its “Our Pluto” campaign.