On April 29, NASA
released a series of images showing broad areas of light and dark
surface features on Pluto. A bright patch near the north pole was
described as “suspiciously suggestive of a polar cap.” These images have
been stabilized so Pluto remains centered, with a line showing the
orientation of the planet’s north pole. In reality, the gravity of the
large moon Charon makes Pluto wobble.
Pluto has one large moon, Charon, and four smaller moons: Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra. Pluto and Charon actually orbit around each other because they are pretty similar in size. The four smaller moons spin wildly around the planetary system. Hydra, for example, rotates 89 times as it completes one trip around Pluto. T
he moons also wobble like “spinning tops,” thanks to the gravitational pulls of both Pluto and Charon. NASA thinks that the four wobbly moons are the results of mergers of two or more moons — meaning Pluto once had even more satellites than it does now.