Even though it’s no longer officially a planet, Pluto is still surprising astronomers.
Data from the Hubble Space Telescope shows that two of its moons, Nix and Hyrda, wobble so much, that they move unpredictably as they orbit, Al Jazeera reports.
That’s because they are buffeted by the strong gravitational pull of Pluto and its sister dwarf-planet Charon.
“It’s as if Pluto and Charon are two weights at the end of a dumbbell, two very unbalanced weights, and that dumbbell is rotating,” astronomer Mark Showalter, who works at the SETI Institute in California, told Al Jazeera.
Astronomers created a computer simulation of Pluto’s moon Nix using images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.
“It’s a very strange world. You literally would not know if the sun is coming up tomorrow,” explained Showalter. “The sun might rise in the west and set in the east or the north. If you have real estate on the north pole of Nix, you might suddenly discover one day that you’re on the south pole instead.”
Read the Full Article: Source – CBS Local