AS THE NEW Horizons team continues its countdown to the space probe’s closest approach to Pluto on Tuesdaymorning, it continues to release snapshots of the icy rock. Today’s image, taken by the black-and-white LORRI camera, shows four evenly-spaced spots on the side that faces Charon, Pluto’s largest moon.
The team has seen these features before, but the extra detail in this shot is important to the mission’s Geology, Geophysics and Imaging team. Pluto and Charon are tidally locked, orbiting around a central point with the same faces always pointing toward each other. That means the dwarf planet’s spotted face will be turned away from New Horizons when it passes by; this is the last time the team will have a chance to see the spots up close.
In the image NASA released of Charon yesterday, astronomers pointed out a collection of vaguely-defined features on the surface of Pluto’s biggest moon. Now, with this latest capture, the New Horizons team has confirmed that the big dent in the icy rock’s surface is in fact an impact crater, surrounded by a couple of deep canyons—one larger than Earth’s Grand Canyon.
Get ready for even more detailed images of Charon and its orbital buddy, Pluto, tomorrow morning when New Horizons makes its closest approach to the system. Geologists will be especially interested to take a closer look at the dark spot on the moon’s northern pole, and the rays of material you can see spraying out from the edges of the crater.
THANKS TO NASA
DEDICATED BY : KAVINGNAR THANIGAI.
more informations: links:https://www.nasa.gov/feature/how-big-is-pluto-new-horizons-settles-decades-long-debate