Washington: NASA has released a new image of Charon captured by New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) from a distance of 289,000 miles (466,000 kilometers), revealing remarkable new details of Pluto's largest moon.
The image taken on late July 13, 2015, shows swath of cliffs and troughs stretches about 600 miles (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 4 to 6 miles (7 to 9 kilometers) deep.
As the US space agency also revealed fresh details about Charon and its mountainous terrain, the new view of Pluto's largest moon reveals a youthful and varied terrain.
The north polar region of Charon has a giant dark marking that NASA has been referring to as Mordor, which basically means they totally get us.
— NASA (@NASA) July 15, 2015
However, scientists are surprised by the apparent lack of craters on Charon.
South of the moon’s equator and at the bottom of the image, terrain is lit by the slanting rays of the sun, creating shadows that make it easier to distinguish topography.
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft made its historic first-ever flyby of Pluto on Tuesday, July 14 after travelling more than three billion miles and over nine-and-a-half years.
The spacecraft crossed the dwarf planet from a distance of about 12,500 km at around 5 pm (Indian standard time).
New Horizons is collecting so much data it will take 16 months to send it all back to Earth.