Charon’s Surprising, Youthful and Varied Terrain

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 289,000 miles  (466,000 kilometers). A swath of cliffs and troughs stretches about 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) from left to right, suggesting widespread fracturing of […]

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Pluto and Charon: New Horizons’ Dynamic Duo

They’re a fascinating pair: Two icy worlds, spinning around their common center of gravity like a pair of figure skaters clasping hands. Scientists believe they were shaped by a cosmic collision billions of years ago, and yet, in many ways, they seem more like strangers than siblings. A high-contrast array of bright and dark features […]

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New Horizons Update: Methane Detected; New Images of Pluto and Charon; Sunrise/Sunset Observations

Yes, there is methane on Pluto, and, no, it doesn’t come from cows. The infrared spectrometer on NASA’s Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft has detected frozen methane on Pluto’s surface; Earth-based astronomers first observed the chemical compound on Pluto in 1976. “We already knew there was methane on Pluto, but these are our first detections,” said […]

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