Have you ever wondered how big the universe really is, and how small we might be in comparison? Let’s travel beyond our own moon and dive into the fascinating world of Hydra, one of the moons of the distant dwarf planet, Pluto. Hydra, named after a mythical nine-headed serpent, is a natural satellite that orbits Pluto and is packed with intriguing facts.
For starters, let’s get an idea of how big Hydra is. The diameter of Hydra across its longest dimension is approximately 51 kilometers or 32 miles. To put that into perspective:
Now that we have an idea of how big Hydra is, let’s learn a bit about what it’s made of. The surface of Hydra is highly reflective, which means it shines very brightly in the darkness of space. This shininess isn’t because of any magical fairy dust; it’s due to the presence of water ice on the moon’s surface. To give you a comparison, Hydra’s reflectivity is intermediate, lying somewhere between the brightness of Pluto and Charon, another of Pluto’s moons. So, if you ever got a chance to see Hydra from a spaceship window, it would be like looking at a shiny, icy, and quite small world glimmering in the distance.
Hydra was first spotted by astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope on 15 May 2005. It’s interesting to note that Hydra is the fifth and outermost moon of Pluto, meaning it orbits Pluto further out than any of the other moons. So there you have it, a quick trip to Hydra, an icy moon of Pluto that’s half the size of Rhode Island and shines like a bright star in the far reaches of our solar system. It’s a small part of our enormous universe, but it’s definitely not lacking in fascinating details!
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