A far-out fifth moon has been discovered orbiting the distant "dwarf planet" Pluto -- the one-time planet planet demoted by Caltech's Kavali Prize-winning astrophysicist Mike Brown.
With the use of the Hubble telescope, a team of scientists spotted the smallest moon yet around Pluto, NASA announced Wednesday.
The mini-moon, estimated to be 6 to 15 miles across, will be called P5 until a catchier name is decided upon. P5 is even smaller than last year's discovery of moon number four, measured at 8 to 21 miles wide. Charon, Pluto's largest moon, is about 650 miles across.
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is speeding toward the icy object with a planned flyby in July 2015 (Pluto was still considered a full-fledged planet when the craft launched in 2006).
The Pluto team is "intrigued that such a small planet can have such a complex collection of satellites," notes the release, and they intend to use this new data to help navigate New Horizons which will be traveling past the dwarf planet at a speed of 30,000 miles per hour.
Says NASA, "New Horizons could be destroyed in a collision with even a BB-shot-size piece of orbital debris."