I love that the boffins at NASA are so obviously a bunch of geeks. The ‘dark spot’ on Pluto’s greatest moon has been named Mordor!!
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Remarkable new details of Pluto's largest moon Charon are revealed in this image from our New Horizons spacecraft taken late on Tuesday from a distance of 289,000 miles (466,000 kilometers). A swath of cliffs and troughs stretches about 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) from left to right, suggesting widespread fracturing of Charon's crust, likely a result of internal processes. At upper right, along the moon's curving edge, is a canyon estimated to be 4 to 6 miles (7 to 9 kilometers) deep. Mission scientists are surprised by the apparent lack of craters on Charon. South of the moon's equator, at the bottom of this image, terrain is lit by the slanting rays of the sun, creating shadows that make it easier to distinguish topography. In Charon's north polar region, a dark marking nicknamed 'Mordor' is prominent in the image. Higher resolution images still to come are expected to shed more light on this enigmatic region. New Horizons traveled more than three billion miles over nine-and-a-half years to reach the Pluto system. Image Credit: NASA-JHUAPL-SwRI #nasa #pluto #plutoflyby #newhorizons#solarsystem #nasabeyond #science