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The Bruce Murray Space Image Library

Swath across Charon

Filed under New Horizons, pretty pictures, amateur image processing, Charon, dwarf planets beyond Neptune

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Swath across Charon This is a mosaic of four images captured by New Horizons' Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) while the LEISA spectrometer was examining the color of Charon's surface. It has been rotated to place north approximately up. Charon's terrain is surprisingly diverse for such a relatively small world located so distant from the Sun.

NASA / JHUAPL / SwRI / Emily Lakdawalla

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

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. For uses not allowed by that license, contact us to request publication permission from the copyright holder: Emily Lakdawalla


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Josh: 09/27/2015 06:53 CDT

Is that a pair of huge impact basins I am seeing in Charon's north polar region? If so, I bet they are the largest craters on Charon...haven't seen any craters half their size elsewhere. As for other features...anyone have any guesses what's up with that large patch of brighter terrain in the northern hemisphere? Looks to be fresh ice, but there are no nearby craters large enough to produce such large fresh ice patches...might they be the results of relatively recent volcanic episodes (suspected as early as 2007)? And why the dichotomy between the almost flat, homogeneous southern hemisphere and the more rugged, multicolored north? Might the southern hemisphere have undergone a massive resurfacing event or perhaps a HUGE impact at some point? (I'd be alarmed if that...thing is an impact structure)

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