CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Pluto’s Big Moon Charon Reveals a Colorful and Violent History
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Pluto’s Big Moon Charon Reveals a Colorful and Violent History

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Charon in Enhanced Color NASA's 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, informally named Mordor Macula.

Charon is 754 miles (1,214 kilometers) across; this image resolves details as small as 1.8 miles (2.9 kilometers).
Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI



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