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July 18 2013

Neptune's strange new moon is first found in a decade


Neptune has a new moon, and its existence is an enigma. The object, known for now as S/2004 N1, is the first Neptunian moon to be found in a decade. Its diminutive size raises questions as to how it survived the chaos thought to have created the giant planet's other moons.

The faint moon was discovered in archived images from the Hubble Space Telescope. Mark Showalter of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, was poring over pictures of Neptune taken in 2009 to study segments of its rings.

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