back to article Hubble detects new Plutonian moon

A Hubble Space Telescope search for possible rings around Pluto has turned up a diminutive fourth moon orbiting the dwarf planet. Pluto's moon P4 seen in grainy Hubble image. Pic: NASA The body, temporarily dubbed P4, joins Charon, Hydra and Nix in the family circling the icy world. NASA says P4 is around 8 to 21 miles (13 …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    Did anyone else read that as plutonium? Almost sounded exciting...

  2. engineerpete

    Obi-Wan says

    That's no moon...

    1. Anonymous Coward

      not possible

      You can't have a Plutonium moon, it would blow up.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        That would depend on

        the specific density of the plutonium. Also, if it were manufactured and the plutonium were shielded by Politicium, it would also be stable. Because nothing is denser than Politicium, not even pure neutronium.

  3. Thomas 4
    IT Angle

    So wretched commentards....

    What do you think the name should be for this extremely small moon?

    I'm going with "munchkin" personally, due to its size.

  4. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Plutonian Ice and Molases

    New flavour of icecream? At -240 deg centigrade, it may be a bit cold in the mouth.

    Still sounds better than the tunafish flavour favoured by Kzinti in one Larry Niven story

    1. GatesFanbois

      How about

      WP7 due to the size of it's market share

      1. Evil Auditor Silver badge


        Due to the expected combined intelligence to be found on P4.

        1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

          P4 stands for Pentium 4

          Imagine the overclocking you could do at -240 ambient temperature

          On the other hand, imagine the overclocking you would NEED to do to stay warm enough

    2. Mike Richards

      Pluto jnr. obviously

      Since the planet is obviously named after the Disney character ;)

      Going classical on astronomy's ass; perhaps Alecto, daughter of Pluto (the god, not the dog)?

    3. Martin Budden

      It should be called

      Gromit. Small dog with an interest in moons, obvious innit?

      p.s. I do like a bit of gorgonzola.

  5. Adrian Esdaile


    Partly in celebration of the famous planet in THHGTTG, partly because it's probably where Mr. Murdoch would rather be at the moment.

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      and of course he is feeling that cold and lonely

      so thumbs up to that name

    2. Mike Richards

      Ooooh good call

      We should rename the whole Plutonian system with Rupert at the centre orbited by James, Rebekah, Andy and Call Me Dave.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I must be behind the times here - has Pluto been re-reclassified back to planetary status? I thought it was a Kuiper Belt object?

    1. anarchic-teapot

      Dwarf planet

      A sort of second-class citizen of the solar system. If you want my opinion, it keeps having all these satellites just so's it can mooch off social security without getting deported.

  7. Mike Moyle Silver badge

    Seagoon: "Why did you name it P4?"

    Bluebottle: "Because we saw it P4 anyone else!"

  8. Jacqui

    Where is Sam Gunn

    when you need him?

  9. M. B.

    Minnie's dog... named Fifi. So should P4, since it's Pluto's bitch.

  10. Chris Cartledge

    Dwarf planet

    Currently, I understand, the second largest dwarf planet in the Solar System (after Eris).

  11. Curtis

    we can't call it a planet...

    but it has more moons than any other solid body in the solar system....

    1. Tinker Tailor Soldier

      It already *had* more moons that any other solid body in the solar system

      So, what's your point again? 8 planets or 14+ planets, choose? But bear in mind that 14 is probably the lower bound.

  12. Tom 13

    Four moons?

    Yep, that's a planet, not some minor league Kupier Belt thing-a-ma-bob. Time for the IAU to rectify their mistake.

  13. Rattus Rattus

    To Mark Showalter of the SETI Institute:

    You're a scientist, dammit! STOP USING MILES! Use a proper, scientific measuring system FFS.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Pluto's a planet

    and Uranus is pronounced 'yer anus'.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Pluto isn't big enough to be a planet then are it's stellites big enough to be called satelites?

  16. gef05

    well, it's finally clear

    Pluto isn't a planet. It's a star.

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