NASA Has Close-ups of Pluto and its Moon Charon
Pluto has 11,000-ft tall mountains!
The black-and-white surface close-up of Pluto was unveiled at a news conference Wednesday, July 15, with the science team of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physical Laboratory.
The mountains were in a photo taken by the New Horizons spacecraft as it zoomed toward the planet at 31,000 miles per hour. It was still about 90 minutes away from closest approach when it snapped the shot, which is near Pluto's equator. Scientists are wondering about the lack of visible craters on the planet, and on its main moon Charon. Theories are being tossed around, but more data is coming that might suggest a solution. Investigators say that the mountains were probably formed by water-ice.
Charon, meanwhile, (see photo below) posed for a full frame picture and had the news conference audience abuzz about what they were seeing. The varied surface has deep depressions and mountains of its own.
More photos will be unveiled as the little New Horizons spacecraft begins sending its own mountain of data over the next year.