APOD: Charon: Moon of Pluto (2018 Jul 06)

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Otto Posterman
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APOD: Charon: Moon of Pluto (2018 Jul 06)

Post by APOD Robot » Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:09 am

Image Charon: Moon of Pluto

Explanation: A darkened and mysterious north polar region known to some as Mordor Macula caps this premier high-resolution view. The portrait of Charon, Pluto's largest moon, was captured by New Horizons near the spacecraft's closest approach on July 14, 2015. The combined blue, red, and infrared data was processed to enhance colors and follow variations in Charon's surface properties with a resolution of about 2.9 kilometers (1.8 miles). A stunning image of Charon's Pluto-facing hemisphere, it also features a clear view of an apparently moon-girdling belt of fractures and canyons that seems to separate smooth southern plains from varied northern terrain. Charon is 1,214 kilometers (754 miles) across. That's about 1/10th the size of planet Earth but a whopping 1/2 the diameter of Pluto itself, and makes it the largest satellite relative to its parent body in the Solar System. Still, the moon appears as a small bump at about the 1 o'clock position on Pluto's disk in the grainy, negative,telescopic picture inset at upper left. That view was used by James Christy and Robert Harrington at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Flagstaff to discover Charon 40 years ago in June of 1978.

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Re: APOD: Charon: Moon of Pluto (2018 Jul 06)

Post by Boomer12k » Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:39 am

A great discovery, and a great, and interesting Moon..."binary planet"???

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Re: APOD: Charon: Moon of Pluto (2018 Jul 06)

Post by orin stepanek » Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:40 am

Ah Charon; I'm sure you give Pluto a beautiful night sky! 8-)

Smile today; tomorrow's another day!

G. Kaplan

Re: APOD: Charon: Moon of Pluto (2018 Jul 06)

Post by G. Kaplan » Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:49 pm

Minor correction on the discovery of Charon: The discovery plate was taken at USNO Flagstaff, but Christy and Harrington were at USNO Washington, where the plate was measured.

Sa Ji Tario

Re: APOD: Charon: Moon of Pluto (2018 Jul 06)

Post by Sa Ji Tario » Fri Jul 06, 2018 2:14 pm

We can say that it was not discovered directly but through a photographic plate such as the comet S-L 9