Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Charon

  • Name themes for Pluto system features approved by IAU

    Laurel KornfeldFebruary 26th, 2017

    A set of naming themes for features on Pluto and its five moons, informally used by the New Horizons mission, has been approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), which has overseen the naming of celestial objects and their surface features since 1919.

  • New Horizons posters, studies, to be presented at Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

    Laurel KornfeldFebruary 14th, 2017

    Seven poster sessions and seven studies based on data returned by the New Horizons mission will be presented at the 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, which will be held in The Woodlands, Texas, on March 20–24 of this year (2017).

  • Pluto’s red regions may have been created by Charon-forming impact

    Laurel KornfeldFebruary 3rd, 2017

    The dark red regions around Pluto's equator may have their origins in the giant impact that formed its moon Charon four billion years ago, according to a team of Japanese researchers.

  • New Horizons video simulates Pluto landing; Charon had icy tectonic plates

    Laurel KornfeldJanuary 29th, 2017

    NASA's New Horizons mission team has released a video simulating a landing on Pluto's surface; it is made up of over 100 images taken by the spacecraft during its July 14, 2015, flyby of the dwarf planet.

  • Charon protects Pluto’s atmosphere from solar wind

    Laurel KornfeldJanuary 12th, 2017

    Pluto's largest moon, Charon, acts as a barrier between the solar wind and Pluto's atmosphere, preventing that atmosphere from being stripped away when the large moon is positioned between the Sun and Pluto, according to a new study published in the journal Icarus.

  • Chandra detects Pluto X-rays; Charon’s red polar cap mystery solved

    Laurel KornfeldSeptember 16th, 2016

    Observations conducted with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory for comparison with data from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft surprised scientists by discovering X-rays coming from Pluto.

  • Pluto’s moon Charon has giant canyon; New Horizons studies small KBO

    Laurel KornfeldJune 28th, 2016

    Argo Chasma, a huge canyon located on the eastern limb of Pluto's largest moon, Charon, is longer, deeper, and more complex than the Grand Canyon on Earth.

  • Present day Pluto likely has subsurface ocean; moons covered in water ice

    Laurel KornfeldJune 23rd, 2016

    Pluto's recent geological activity, as observed by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, suggests that the small world still has a subsurface liquid ocean beneath its shell of ice.

  • Charon’s chasms suggest it once had a subsurface ocean

    Laurel KornfeldFebruary 22nd, 2016

    A belt of chasms running along the equator of Pluto's largest moon, Charon, suggests it once harbored a subsurface ocean that eventually froze and expanded outward.

  • Image montages show one full day on Pluto and Charon

    Laurel KornfeldNovember 22nd, 2015

    The team working on NASA's New Horizons mission has released the best images to date of each side of the distant worlds Pluto and Charon taken by the New Horizons spacecraft. The images have been compiled together to illustrate one full day on each of the two icy bodies and come more than four months after the nuclear-powered probe conducted its flyby of the Plutonian system.

  • Young crater discovered on Charon; Pluto crescent image released

    Laurel KornfeldNovember 1st, 2015

    A crater on the Pluto-facing side of Charon is profoundly different from other, older craters on the large moon's surface – its ammonia-rich composition showing it to be unusually young. The crater, informally named Organa, caught the attention of scientists as they were analyzing high-resolution infrared compositional scans of Charon.

  • First academic paper presents New Horizons Pluto findings: pits and troughs found on Tombaugh Reggio

    Laurel KornfeldOctober 17th, 2015

    NASA's New Horizons team has published an eight-page academic paper in the October 16 issue of the journal Science. In the paper, the team discusses the New Horizons spacecraft's diverse findings it had discovered when passing through the Pluto system during the vehicle's historic July 14, 2015, flyby.

  • Charon: a beautiful world with a violent past

    Laurel KornfeldOctober 3rd, 2015

    This week, newly released data from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has put Pluto's largest moon, Charon, in the spotlight – revealing it to be a colorful and beautiful world that had experienced a violent past.

  • New Pluto images reveal stunningly diverse terrains, atmosphere

    Laurel KornfeldSeptember 12th, 2015

    NASA’s New Horizons has sent back the first in its yearlong downlink of high-resolution images and data from its July 14, 2015, flyby of Pluto. The data, sent from Sept. 5 to 7, revealed a stunning diversity of terrains and a many-layered atmosphere that are leaving scientists in awe.

  • Sci-Fi names given to features on Pluto and Charon

    Laurel KornfeldAugust 7th, 2015

    Names of people and places from popular science fiction franchises are informally being given to features on Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, by the New Horizons team. Star Wars, Star Trek, Dr. Who, Robotech, H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos, and mythology are all represented in monikers chosen for craters on Charon.