New Horizons close-up of Charon’s ‘mountain in a moat’


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This new image of an area on Pluto’s largest moon Charon has a captivating feature — a depression with a peak in the middle, shown here in the upper left corner of the inset.

New Horizons close-up of Charon's 'mountain in a moat'
This new image of an area on Pluto’s largest moon Charon has a captivating 
feature — a depression with a peak in the middle, shown here in the upper left 
corner of the inset [Credit: NASA-JHUAPL-SwRI]

The image shows an area approximately 240 miles (390 kilometers) from top to bottom, including few visible craters. “The most intriguing feature is a large mountain sitting in a moat,” said Jeff Moore with NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California, who leads New Horizons’ Geology, Geophysics and Imaging team. “This is a feature that has geologists stunned and stumped.”

This image gives a preview of what the surface of this large moon will look like in future close-ups from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft. This image is heavily compressed; sharper versions are anticipated when the full-fidelity data from New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) are returned to Earth.

The rectangle superimposed on the global view of Charon shows the approximate location of this close-up view.

The image was taken at approximately 6:30 a.m. EDT (10:30 UTC) on July 14, 2015, about 1.5 hours before closest approach to Pluto, from a range of 49,000 miles (79,000 kilometers).

Source: NASA [July 16, 2015]



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