The Youngest Crater On Charon and A Beautiful Crescent On Pluto

The latest image from New Horizons shows a crater on Charon that is rich in ammonia, indicating it's a fresh impact.

The Young Ammonia Crater of Charon. The informally named Organa crater (shown in green) is rich in frozen ammonia and – so far – appears to be unique on Pluto’s largest moon. Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI
This composite image is based on observations from the New Horizons Ralph/LEISA instrument made at 10:25 UT (6:25 a.m. EDT) on July 14, 2015, when New Horizons was 50,000 miles (81,000 kilometers) from Charon. The spatial resolution is 3 miles (5 kilometers) per pixel. The LEISA data were downlinked Oct. 1-4, 2015, and processed into a map of Charon 2.2 micron ammonia-ice absorption band. Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) panchromatic images used as the background in this composite were taken about 8:33 UT (4:33 a.m. EDT) July 14 at a resolution of 0.6 miles (0.9 kilometers) per pixel and downlinked Oct. 5-6. The ammonia absorption map from LEISA is shown in green on the LORRI image. The region covered by the yellow box is 174 miles across (280 kilometers). Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI

The New Horizons team also released the complete sunset view of Pluto image. A partial image had been released earlier. It is simply stunning!

This image was made just 15 minutes after New Horizons closest approach to Pluto on July 14, 2015, as the spacecraft looked back at Pluto toward the sun. The wide-angle perspective of this view shows the deep haze layers of Pluto atmosphere extending all the way around Pluto, revealing the silhouetted profiles of rugged plateaus on the night (left) side. The shadow of Pluto cast on its atmospheric hazes can also be seen at the uppermost part of the disk. On the sunlit side of Pluto (right), the smooth expanse of the informally named icy plain Sputnik Planum is flanked to the west (above, in this orientation) by rugged mountains up to 11,000 feet (3,500 meters) high, including the informally named Norgay Montes in the foreground and Hillary Montes on the skyline. Below (east) of Sputnik, rougher terrain is cut by apparent glaciers. The backlighting highlights more than a dozen high-altitude layers of haze in Plutos tenuous atmosphere. The horizontal streaks in the sky beyond Pluto are stars, smeared out by the motion of the camera as it tracked Pluto. The image was taken with New Horizons Multi-spectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC) from a distance of 11,000 miles (18,000 kilometers) to Pluto. The resolution is 700 meters (0.4 miles). Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI

For the original Pluto press release, click here.

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