NASA releases Pluto 'family portrait' with smallest moon Kerberos

While NASA's spacecraft New Horizons already completed its flyby of Pluto over three months ago, some of its latest photos have been transmitted to Earth, revealing a new look at the former planet's smallest moon, Kerberos. In addition to finally getting a completed "family portrait" of Pluto and its five moons, NASA says it's realized that Kerberos is much smaller than previously thought. The pixellated photo of the moon above is actually a combination of four separate images.

While Kerberos has an oblong shape like Pluto's other smaller moons, NASA says it has two distinct "lobes," indicating that it was likely formed by two colliding objects. As the smallest of Pluto's satellites, it measures only 7.4 miles (12 kilometers) in diameter at its widest point.

It wasn't until New Horizons' flyby that NASA was actually able to confirm that Pluto has exactly five moons, as they were just too small and too far away. These new images were captured in July, when the spacecraft made its closest approach to Pluto, with Kerberos about 245,600 miles (396,100 km) away.

Also new information for NASA is that fact that Kerberos has bright, reflective surface, meaning that it's probably covered clean water ice, similar to Pluto's other moons. More photos from New Horizons are expected to arrive over the next year, with the space agency saying they hope to get more detailed views of the Pluto system.