Pluto's Undiscovered Satellites

Simulated image of the Pluto-Charon system. The Pluto-Charon binary (represented by the two largest white disks), the four small satellites -- P5, Nix, P4, and Hydra (represented by the four small white disks), and three smaller satellites (represented by the green disks) lie within an extended ensemble of solid particles shown as small blue dots. This configuration is the result after twenty years of a computer simulation with two million dust particles surrounding the known and predicted moons. On this short time scale, the small satellites clear out most of the dust particles along their orbits. On much longer time scales, satellites will clear dust from a larger fraction of their orbits.

Astrophysical Photography