- No Place Like Home
Pluto’s Endless Cosmic Dance
The two pixelated blobs above are dwarf planet Pluto and its largest moon, Charon. Comprising images taken by the New Horizons spacecraft between July 19 and 24, this animation is the closest look yet at this intriguing system — shot from a mere 425-ish million kilometers away.
Because Charon is so large relative to Pluto, many astronomers consider the pair to be a binary (dwarf) planet. At roughly 1/12th of Pluto’s mass, Charon is massive enough to shift the system’s center of gravity to a point outside Pluto; in other words, both bodies are orbiting a spot in the space between them, and it’s because of this that Pluto appears to wobble as Charon traces its endless cosmic