Astronomy

Rediscovering Pluto

Print edition : August 21, 2015

The side of Pluto that faces Charon, the largest of its five moons, photographed from New Horizons on July 11 as it made its closest approach in the climax of a decade-long journey to explore the dwarf planet. Photo: NASA/AFP

This image taken by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) shows a newly discovered mountain range near the south-western margin of Pluto’s Tombaugh Regio situated between bright, icy plains and dark, heavily cratered terrain. Photo: NASA/AP

This image of Charon from New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), shows a swath of cliffs and troughs stretching about 1,000 kilometres from left to right, suggesting widespread fracturing of Charon’s crust, probably because of internal processes. At upper right, along the moon’s curving edge, is a canyon estimated to be 7 to 9 km deep. Photo: NASA/AFP

Initial images and data from the NASA spacecraft New Horizons’ recent rendezvous with Pluto point to a surprisingly craterless mosaic of relatively ancient regions and very young places on the dwarf planet.
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