Pluto swings about her largest moon in a delicate gravity dance that is not unlike a space ballet of sorts. Charon’s size creates a gravity tug that causes the large moon to pull at Pluto, creating an almost “binary-twin” type of mutual push-pull-spin. Naturally us space geeks have been fascinated to know more about what Charon looks like. Here’s the first breathtaking zoomed photo of Charon up close and personal. Notice the dark region in the north polar area, or northern pole. It has been tentatively named ‘Mordor’ by NASA.
You knew it was going to be stellar. One NASA scientist has already made reference to the “incoming waterfall of data” which would be following yesterday’s historic #Plutoflyby by New Horizons. The photo below, courtesy of The New York Times, reveals a close-up of some of Pluto’s fantastic geologic features. What you are seeing are literal mountains of ice, estimated at up to 11,0000 feet in height.
Cited: “Mountains on Pluto One of the first images returned to Earth after the flyby shows a small portion of the dwarf planet’s surface, with ice mountains up to 11,000 feet high. The lack of craters indicates that the surface is quite young, no more than 100 million years old. The photo was taken early on Tuesday morning.”