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The Bruce Murray Space Image Library

Color global portrait of Charon from Ralph MVIC

Filed under trans-neptunian objects, New Horizons, pretty pictures, Charon, global views

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Color global portrait of Charon from Ralph MVIC New Horizons captured this high-resolution enhanced color view of Charon just before closest approach on July 14, 2015. The image combines blue, red and infrared images taken by the spacecraft's Ralph/Multispectral Visual Imaging Camera (MVIC); the colors are processed to best highlight the variation of surface properties across Charon. Charon's color palette is not as diverse as Pluto's; most striking is the reddish north (top) polar region. Charon is 1,214 kilometers across; this image resolves details as small as 2.9 kilometers.


Original image data dated on or about July 14, 2015.

Most NASA images are in the public domain. Reuse of this image is governed by NASA's image use policy.


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Josh: 10/02/2015 06:45 CDT

Charon appears to have a trio of BIG impact basins near its north pole, reminiscent of Vesta's snowman craters...none of them have many craters, so they're probably pretty young - especially by big crater standards. Just compare them to herschel on Mimas or ANY or Iapetus's big craters, for example... On another note, the northern half has much more color diversity than the southern even ignoring the north polar region (which is VERY uneven in distribution...we sure about the 'captured pluto volatiles' idea?). There's an bizzare pit with highly jumbled terrain radiating from it near the right terminator, seemingly marking the end of the huge canyon near Charon's equator...doesn't look like a crater (too deep and is missing the expected mountain that should have resulted from a similarly sized crater)

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