Latest Science Photos

Mountains and Plains on Charon

Perspective view of mountain ridges and volcanic plains on Pluto’s large moon Charon.

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Tenzig Montes

Perspective view of Pluto’s highest mountains, Tenzing Montes, along the western margins of Sputnik Planitia, which rise 3-6 kilometers above the smooth nitrogen-ice plains in the foreground.

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Charon Discovery 40 Years Later

Forty years after his important discovery, Jim Christy holds two of the telescope images he used to spot Pluto’s large moon Charon in June 1978. A close-up photo of Charon, taken by the New Horizons spacecraft during its July 2015 flyby, is displayed on his computer screen.

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Charon: Then and Now

What a difference 40 years makes. An enhanced color image of Charon from data gathered by the New Horizons spacecraft in 2015 shows a range of diverse surface features, significantly transforming our view of a moon discovered in 1978 as a "bump" on Pluto (inset) in a set of grainy telescope images.

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Jim Christy Discovery in 1978

Jim Christy points to the photographic plate on which he discovered Pluto's largest moon, Charon, in 1978.

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