PIA19932: Charon's Complexity
 Target Name:  Charon
 Is a satellite of:  Pluto
 Mission:  New Horizons
 Spacecraft:  New Horizons
 Instrument:  LORRI
 Product Size:  1250 x 1250 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  Johns Hopkins University/APL
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA19932.tif (1.039 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA19932.jpg (102.7 kB)

Click on the image above to download a moderately sized image in JPEG format (possibly reduced in size from original)

Original Caption Released with Image:

This image of Pluto's largest moon Charon, taken by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft 10 hours before its closest approach to Pluto on July 14, 2015 from a distance of 290,000 miles (470,000 kilometers), is a recently downlinked, much higher quality version of a Charon image released on July 15. Charon, which is 750 miles (1,200 kilometers) in diameter, displays a surprisingly complex geological history, including tectonic fracturing; relatively smooth, fractured plains in the lower right; several enigmatic mountains surrounded by sunken terrain features on the right side; and heavily cratered regions in the center and upper left portion of the disk. There are also complex reflectivity patterns on Charon's surface, including bright and dark crater rays, and the conspicuous dark north polar region at the top of the image. The smallest visible features are 2.9 miles 4.6 kilometers) in size.

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, designed, built, and operates the New Horizons spacecraft, and manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. The Southwest Research Institute, based in San Antonio, leads the science team, payload operations and encounter science planning. New Horizons is part of the New Frontiers Program managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Image Credit:
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Image Addition Date: