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Moons of our Solar System
Moons of our Solar System

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3.6 Naming Charon

Discovered in 1978 by James Christy, Charon was the first moon to be discovered orbiting Pluto. The name Charon was suggested after the mythological ferryman who carried souls across the River Styx from the world of the living to the underworld ruled by Pluto. This name was significant to the discoverer due to its similarity with the name of his wife (Charlene) and is often pronounced ‘Sharon’, rather than the more Greek-sounding ‘Karon’.

Described image
Figure 59 Pluto and Charon imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope.