APOD: Charon: Moon of Pluto (2023 Jun 03)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
User avatar
APOD Robot
Otto Posterman
Posts: 5432
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:27 am

APOD: Charon: Moon of Pluto (2023 Jun 03)

Post by APOD Robot » Sat Jun 03, 2023 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 in June of 1978.

<< Previous APOD This Day in APOD Next APOD >>

User avatar
JohnD
Tea Time, Guv! Cheerio!
Posts: 1582
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2005 2:11 pm
Location: Lancaster, England

Re: APOD: Charon: Moon of Pluto (2023 Jun 03)

Post by JohnD » Sat Jun 03, 2023 9:48 am

Wow! That is an extraordinary achievement! Thanks for showing the pic.
Surely the significance and history of the that central belt and the different hemispheres has been discussed somewhere? A link would be gratefully received!
John

User avatar
orin stepanek
Plutopian
Posts: 8200
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:41 pm
Location: Nebraska

Re: APOD: Charon: Moon of Pluto (2023 Jun 03)

Post by orin stepanek » Sat Jun 03, 2023 1:21 pm

charon_then_now_1024.jpg
How many people would have noticed That that bulge by Pluto was
a moon? 8-)
Wonderful Charon! There was one photo (I couldn't copy) that
showed lines in the ice! My opinion; but i Thought that they looked
like roads! :evil:
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Orin

Smile today; tomorrow's another day!

User avatar
VictorBorun
Captain
Posts: 1072
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:25 pm

Re: APOD: Charon: Moon of Pluto (2023 Jun 03)

Post by VictorBorun » Sat Jun 03, 2023 5:42 pm

orin stepanek wrote: Sat Jun 03, 2023 1:21 pm charon_then_now_1024.jpg
How many people would have noticed That that bulge by Pluto was
a moon? 8-)
Wonderful Charon! There was one photo (I couldn't copy) that
showed lines in the ice! My opinion; but i Thought that they looked
like roads! :evil:
ImageThe Long and Winding Road in the Kintyre peninsula that inspired Paul McCartney

User avatar
johnnydeep
Commodore
Posts: 2980
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:57 pm

Re: APOD: Charon: Moon of Pluto (2023 Jun 03)

Post by johnnydeep » Sat Jun 03, 2023 7:48 pm

Uh, so where's Charon in the grainy image? Is this it? And if not, how the heck did they determine that another of those dots was anything more than just graininess?

pluto and charon grainy.png
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
--
"To B̬̻̋̚o̞̮̚̚l̘̲̀᷾d̫͓᷅ͩḷ̯᷁ͮȳ͙᷊͠ Go......Beyond The F͇̤i̙̖e̤̟l̡͓d͈̹s̙͚ We Know."{ʲₒʰₙNYᵈₑᵉₚ}

User avatar
johnnydeep
Commodore
Posts: 2980
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:57 pm

Re: APOD: Charon: Moon of Pluto (2023 Jun 03)

Post by johnnydeep » Sat Jun 03, 2023 7:49 pm

Also, is this image is of the Pluto-facing side of Charon, does that mean that New Horizons passed between them?
--
"To B̬̻̋̚o̞̮̚̚l̘̲̀᷾d̫͓᷅ͩḷ̯᷁ͮȳ͙᷊͠ Go......Beyond The F͇̤i̙̖e̤̟l̡͓d͈̹s̙͚ We Know."{ʲₒʰₙNYᵈₑᵉₚ}

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 18333
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: APOD: Charon: Moon of Pluto (2023 Jun 03)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sat Jun 03, 2023 8:20 pm

johnnydeep wrote: Sat Jun 03, 2023 7:48 pm Uh, so where's Charon in the grainy image? Is this it? And if not, how the heck did they determine that another of those dots was anything more than just graininess?
charon_then_now_1024.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
https://www.cloudbait.com

User avatar
johnnydeep
Commodore
Posts: 2980
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:57 pm

Re: APOD: Charon: Moon of Pluto (2023 Jun 03)

Post by johnnydeep » Sat Jun 03, 2023 9:24 pm

Chris Peterson wrote: Sat Jun 03, 2023 8:20 pm
johnnydeep wrote: Sat Jun 03, 2023 7:48 pm Uh, so where's Charon in the grainy image? Is this it? And if not, how the heck did they determine that another of those dots was anything more than just graininess?
charon_then_now_1024.jpg
Ah - thanks. And of course my Charon candidate was far too small compared to Pluto, which is only twice its diameter!
--
"To B̬̻̋̚o̞̮̚̚l̘̲̀᷾d̫͓᷅ͩḷ̯᷁ͮȳ͙᷊͠ Go......Beyond The F͇̤i̙̖e̤̟l̡͓d͈̹s̙͚ We Know."{ʲₒʰₙNYᵈₑᵉₚ}

Whiskybreath
Ensign
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2015 1:27 pm

Re: APOD: Charon: Moon of Pluto (2023 Jun 03)

Post by Whiskybreath » Sat Jun 03, 2023 10:27 pm

Of some interest is the large crater halfway between the centre of the image and about the 7 o'clock position, which appears to be overlaid by a (or two) features which form part of the 'belt'. This also happens further East at about the 2 o'clock position, indicating that the belt of deformation is relatively recent, although there are small craters on the overlying material too?