# S/2011 (134340) 1

(Redirected from S/2011 P 1)
Discovery[1] Hubble Space Telescope discovery images of S/2011 (134340) 1. Showalter, M. R. et al. June 28, 2011 (verified July 20, 2011) S/2011 P 1, P4 (59 ± 2)×103 km ≈ 0 32.1 ± 0.3 days ≈ 0 Pluto 26.1 ± 0.3[1]
Orbits of four of the five known moons of Pluto

S/2011 (134340) 1[a] (known informally as S/2011 P 1[2] and P4) is a small natural satellite of Pluto whose existence was announced on July 20, 2011.[1] Its discovery, following the discoveries of Charon in 1978 and Nix and Hydra in 2005, made it Pluto's fourth known moon.

## Discovery

S/2011 (134340) 1 was discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope's Pluto Companion Search Team on June 28, 2011, using the Wide Field Camera 3, during an attempt to find any rings that Pluto might possess.[b][5] Further observations were made on July 3 and July 18, 2011 and it was verified as a new moon on July 20, 2011.[1][6] It was later identified in archival Hubble images from February 15, 2006 and June 25, 2010.[1] S/2011 (134340) 1's brightness is only about 10% of that of Nix, and it was found because the discovery team took 8-minute exposures; earlier observations had used shorter exposures.[7]

The provisional designation of the satellite varies based on the source used. The International Astronomical Union announced it as S/2011 (134340) 1,[1] while the New Horizons mission website announced it as S/2011 P 1.[2]

## Physical properties

With an estimated diameter of 13–34 km (8–21 mi), S/2011 (134340) 1 is the second smallest known moon of Pluto (after S/2012 (134340) 1, which has an estimated diameter of 10–25 km (6–16 mi)). This diameter range is derived from an assumed possible geometric albedo range of 0.06 to 0.35.[1][7]

## Orbital properties

Current observations suggest a circular, equatorial orbit with a radius of approximately 59,000 km (about 37,000 miles).[1][7] The moon orbits in the region between Nix and Hydra and makes a complete orbit around Pluto roughly every 32.1 days.[1][7] This period is close to a 1:5 orbital resonance with Charon, with the timing discrepancy being apparently less than 0.6%.[c] As with the near resonances between Nix or Hydra and Charon (1:4 and 1:6, respectively), determining how close this relationship is to a true resonance will require more accurate knowledge of S/2011 (134340) 1's orbit, in particular its rate of precession.

## Origin

Like Pluto's other satellites,[8] it is suspected that S/2011 (134340) 1 coalesced from the debris of a massive collision between Pluto and another Kuiper belt object, similar to the giant impact believed to have created the Earth's Moon.[5]

## Naming

Upon discovery, the moon received the minor planet designation S/2011 (134340) 1 because it was the first satellite (S) discovered orbiting minor planet (134340) in 2011. It is known informally as "P4", meaning the fourth Plutonian moon to be discovered.

The convention for naming Plutonian moons is to use names associated with the god Pluto in Classical mythology. To decide on names for P4 and P5, Mark Showalter and the SETI Institute, on behalf of the discovery team, conducted a non-binding internet poll in 2013, in which the general public was invited to vote for their favorite names. The public could choose from a selection of Greek mythological names related to the god Pluto, or could propose their own names.[9] After the initial announcement, William Shatner, the actor who plays Captain James T. Kirk in the Star Trek franchise, proposed the names Vulcan and Romulus, ostensibly referring to the fire god Vulcan (a nephew of Pluto), and to Romulus the founder of Rome, but also alluding to the fictional planets of Vulcan and Romulus in the Star Trek universe.[10][11] The 'Romulus' suggestion was discounted, as there is already an asteroid moon of that name,[12] but Vulcan won the poll after Shatner tweeted about it, with Cerberus (the dog that guards Pluto's underworld) coming second and Styx (the river of the underworld) coming third. The winning names have been submitted to the International Astronomical Union[13].

Problems with the winners of the poll have been observed. 'Vulcan' has already been used by astronomers to refer to a hypothetical planet nearer the Sun than Mercury, and has given its name to the Vulcanoids, a class of asteroids.[14][15] Cerberus is already the name of an asteroid, 1865 Cerberus, although Showalter said the Greek form of the name, Kerberos, would be acceptable to the IAU.

The internet poll was non-binding and the name will ultimately be determined by the International Astronomical Union.[16]

## Notes

1. ^ 134340 is Pluto's Minor Planet Center number, assigned following its demotion from full planetary status in 2006. S/2011 P 1 is the format used for planetary satellites, following the pattern of S/1978 P 1 for Charon, S/2005 P 1 for Hydra, and S/2005 P 2 for Nix.
2. ^ The search for rings is motivated in part by a desire to avoid damage to the New Horizons spacecraft when it passes through the Pluto system in July 2015.[3][4]
3. ^ 100*(P4 period - 5*Charon period)/P4 period $=$ 100*(32.1 d - 5*6.3872304 d)/32.1 d $=$ 0.51%

## References

1. Showalter, M. R.; Hamilton, D. P. (2011-07-20). "New Satellite of (134340) Pluto: S/2011 (134340) 1". Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams. International Astronomical Union. Retrieved 2011-07-20.
2. ^ a b New Horizons news, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, "Fourth Moon Adds to Pluto's Appeal", July 20, 2011
3. ^ Wall, M. (2011-07-20). "New Pluto Moon Foreshadows More Surprises for NASA Probe En Route". Space.Com web site. TechMediaNetwork. Retrieved 2011-07-21.
4. ^ McKee, M. (2006-02-22). "Rings of ice and dust may encircle Pluto". New Scientist web site. New Scientist. Retrieved 2011-07-21.
5. ^ a b Boyle, A. (2011-07-20). "Scientists spot Pluto's fourth moon". Cosmic Log on msnbc.com. msnbc.com. Retrieved 2011-07-20.
6. ^ "Pluto Has Another Moon, Hubble Photos Reveal | Dwarf Planet Pluto | Pluto's Moons". Space.com. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
7. ^ a b c d Lakdawalla, E. (2011-07-20). "A fourth moon for Pluto". Planetary Society weblog. The Planetary Society. Retrieved 2011-07-20.
8. ^ Stern, S. A.; Weaver, H. A.; Steff, A. J.; Mutchler, M. J.; Merline, W. J.; Buie, M. W.; Young, E. F.; Young, L. A.; Spencer, J. R. (2006-02-23). "A giant impact origin for Pluto’s small moons and satellite multiplicity in the Kuiper belt". Nature 439 (7079): 946–948. Bibcode:2006Natur.439..946S. doi:10.1038/nature04548. PMID 16495992. Retrieved 2011-07-20.
9. ^ http://www.plutorocks.com/ground-rules. Retrieved 12 May 2013. Missing or empty `|title=` (help)
10. ^ Marcia Dunn (25 February 2013). "Capt. Kirk's Vulcan entry wins Pluto moons contest". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 25 February 2013. Unknown parameter `|company=` ignored (help)
11. ^
12. ^ "'Vulcan' tops poll for moon name". 3 News NZ. February 26, 2013.
13. ^
14. ^ Marcia Dunn (25 February 2013). "Capt. Kirk's Vulcan entry wins Pluto moons contest". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 25 February 2013. Unknown parameter `|company=` ignored (help)
15. ^ Miriam Krame (25 February 2013). "'Vulcan' and 'Cerberus' Win Pluto Moon Naming Poll". SPACE.com. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
16. ^ Canadian Press (25 February 2013). "'Vulcan' voted top Pluto moon name". CBC News. Retrieved 25 February 2013.