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Pluto 'Paints' its Largest Moon Red

In June 2015, when the cameras on NASA's approaching New Horizons spacecraft first spotted the large reddish polar region on Pluto's largest moon, Charon, mission scientists knew two things: they'd never seen anything like it elsewhere in our solar system, and they couldn't wait to get the story behind it.
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Charon Surface details. Photoclinometry

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This image was taken at 10:30 UTC on July 14, 2015, about 1.5 hours before closest approach to Pluto, from a range of 79,000 kilometers. 

charon140715b 
Credit:  NASA-JHUAPL-SwRI 


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New Horizons Close-Up of Charon's 'Mountain in a Moat'

charon140715 The image was taken at 10:30 UTC on July 14, 2015, about 1.5 hours before closest approach to Pluto, from a range of 79,000 kilometers. 
Credit: NASA-JHUAPL-SwRI 

The image shows an area approximately 300 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.
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Charon's Surprising, Youthful and Varied Terrain

nh-charon.jpg

Remarkable new details of Pluto's largest moon Charon are revealed in this image from New Horizons' Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), taken late on July 13, 2015 from a distance of 466,000 kilometers.
A swath of cliffs and troughs stretches about 1,000 kilometers from left to right, suggesting widespread fracturing of Charon's crust, likely a result of internal processes. At upper right, along the moon's curving edge, is a canyon estimated to be 7 to 9 kilometers deep.

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The new, close-up image of Charon has revealed a chasm 4-6 miles deep and also further evidence of active resurfacing.

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How to pronounce Charon (Greek/Greece)

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In Greek mythology, Charon or Kharon is the ferryman of Hades who carries souls of the newly deceased across the rivers Styx and Acheron that divided the world of the living from the world of the dead. 
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Anniversary of Jim Christy's discovery of Pluto's Moon Charon in 1978.



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