Release 16 of 28

Hubble's Latest Look at Pluto's Moons Supports a Common Birth

Release date: Mar 10, 2006 9:00 AM (EST)

The latest NASA Hubble Space Telescope images of Pluto's two newly discovered satellites reveal that the new moons have the same color as Charon. All three of Pluto's satellites reflect the Sun's light equally across the visible spectrum and have essentially the same color as Earth's moon. Pluto, in contrast, has a reddish hue. The common color of the moons further reinforces the idea that all three moons were born from a single titanic collision between Pluto and another similarly sized Kuiper Belt object billions of years ago. The color exposures were made on March 2nd in both red (F606W) and blue (F435W) filters using Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys. The Pluto team hopes to make further observations in more color filters to more precisely characterize the moons.