New Horizons has released its first up-close image of Nix — one of Pluto's five known moons, named after the Greek goddess of darkness and night. And like one of Pluto's other moons Hydra, its shape is not exactly spherical.
New Horizons snapped the picture at 7:19PM ET on July 13 from a distance of more than 360,000 miles away. The photograph reveals that Nix is 25 miles across, and the moon is probably elongated, but that’s not obvious from this angle, said New Horizons lead Alan Stern. This is the best image we have yet of Nix, which was discovered in 2005 in a Hubble Space Telescope image. We’ll get an even closer shot of Nix sometime this weekend..
As we get more and more pictures of Pluto's moons, NASA researchers are learning that these space rocks are unique worlds all their own. A close-up image of Pluto's largest moon Charon reveal that parts of it may be geologically active. And a recent pixelated image of Hydra shows that it's not only weirdly shaped but also covered in water ice.