Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Charon

  • 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.

  • New Horizons’ first datasets reveal stunning images – and geologically active worlds

    Laurel KornfeldJuly 17th, 2015

    The “rain of data” promised by New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern began streaming in on Wednesday, July 15, the day after the spacecraft’s closest approach to the dwarf planet Pluto. In just a few days time, it has tantalized the world with stunning images of Pluto and its moon Charon, showing features that have repeatedly baffled […]

  • New Horizons conducts historic Pluto flyby

    Laurel KornfeldJuly 15th, 2015

    At 7:49 a.m. EDT (12:49 GMT), July 14, 2015, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft made its closest approach to the Pluto system, flying within 7,750 miles (12,472 km) of Pluto’s surface. At the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Maryland, more than a thousand people, including APL employees, mission team members, guests, and media […]

  • Pluto found bigger than previously thought as excitement builds over flyby

    Laurel KornfeldJuly 14th, 2015

    On the eve of New Horizons’ historic Pluto flyby, the decades-long question of Pluto’s size has finally been answered: Pluto is larger than previously thought – it has a diameter of 1,478 miles (2,370 km). The finding comes from images taken by the spacecraft’s Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI). It means Pluto is the largest known […]

  • New Horizons reveals striking features on Charon

    Laurel KornfeldJuly 13th, 2015

    Charon has got its turn in New Horizons’ spotlight on July 11, with its latest images showing striking features, revealing the large moon to be a geologically active world. Its surface is pockmarked with chasms and craters, evidence that the small world has undergone faulting and surface disruption, according to Geology and Geophysics Investigation team (GGI) […]

  • New Horizons’ final approach images show surface geology on Pluto

    Laurel KornfeldJuly 12th, 2015

    With just days left until its historic Pluto flyby, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is taking and sending back images that reveal Pluto to be a geologically complex world. Fuzzy, blurry images are being replaced by sharper ones showing distinct surface features – to the delight of mission scientists.

  • Pluto shows two different faces as New Horizons closes in

    Laurel KornfeldJuly 3rd, 2015

    As NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft rapidly closes in on the Pluto system on the outer fringes of the Solar System, its instruments are starting to reveal stunning details on the surfaces of both Pluto and its largest moon – Charon. These tantalizing new images are now raising new mysteries about these enigmatic worlds. These images came in at […]

  • New Horizons images show surface features on Pluto and Charon

    Laurel KornfeldJune 25th, 2015

    As NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft closes in on the Pluto system, its instruments have begun returning images that show surprisingly varied surfaces on both Pluto and one of its moons – Charon. The latest series of images released by the mission team were taken with the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI ) between May 29 and June […]