New Close-Up Images of Pluto’s Moon Charon From New Horizons

New Close-Up Images of Charon from New Horizons

This mosaic of Pluto’s largest moon Charon was taken by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on New Horizons shortly before its closest approach on July 14, 2015; it resolves details as small as 340 yards (310 meters). The scene at the bottom is about 125 miles (200 kilometers) across. Credit: NASA / JHUAPL / SwRI

NASA’s New Horizons Spacecraft provides a close-up view of Pluto’s moon Charon.

The sweeping mosaic above is made from the highest-resolution images that NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will return of Charon. This view extends from the limb at left to the terminator, or day-night line, at right.

From the left, the view moves from rugged cratered terrain, across the great faulted canyons of the Serenity Chasma, and onto the resurfaced plains of Vulcan Planum, both informally named. The expanded view of Vulcan Planum at the bottom, with its rilles (grooves or long, narrow depressions) and intermittently spaced impact craters, highlights a landscape reminiscent of the volcanic plains on Earth’s moon (lunar mare). However, while the lunar maria are made of basalt, these plains on Charon consist of water ice.

1 Comment on "New Close-Up Images of Pluto’s Moon Charon From New Horizons"

  1. Madanagopal.V.C. | October 18, 2015 at 8:43 am | Reply

    The mosaic of Charon denotes it is washed with some liquid on its surface smoothly , which are indicated by streaks on it very fine. One thing is certain. As you go farther in our solar system , the planets are washed more and more with water and some liquid and the bombardments of asteroids making craters are rubbed off. Next to Hydrogen, water is the dominant component of cometary materials which are responsible for such presentation. Thank YOu.

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