A ‘Super Grand Canyon’ on Pluto’s Moon Charon

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Pluto’s largest moon, Charon, is home to an surprising ravine complement that’s distant longer and deeper than a Grand Canyon.

The inset above magnifies a apportionment of a eastern prong in a tellurian perspective of Charon during left, imaged by NASA’s New Horizons booster several hours before a closest proceed on Jul 14, 2015.  A low ravine informally named Argo Chasma is seen extending a limb. The territory of it seen here measures approximately 185 miles (300 kilometers) long. As distant as New Horizons scientists can tell, Argo’s sum length is approximately 430 miles (700 kilometers) prolonged – for comparison, Arizona’s Grand Canyon is 280 miles (450 kilometers) long.

At this felicitous observation angle a ravine is seen edge-on, and during a northern finish of a ravine a abyss can be simply gauged.  Based on this and other images taken around a same time, New Horizons scientists guess Argo Chasma to be as low as 5.5 miles (9 kilometers), that is some-more than 5 times a abyss of a Grand Canyon. There seem to be locations along a canyon’s length where perfect cliffs reaching several miles high occur, and that could potentially opposition Verona Rupes on Uranus’ moon Miranda (which is during slightest 3 miles, or 5 kilometers, high) for a pretension of tallest famous precipice face in a solar system.

The picture was performed by New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) during a fortitude of approximately 1.45 miles (2.33 kilometers) per pixel.  It was taken during a operation of approximately 289,000 miles (466,000 kilometers) from Charon, 9 hours and 22 mins before New Horizons’ closest proceed to Charon on Jul 14, 2015.

Source: NASA