NASA releases best photos yet of Pluto's jumbo moon, Charon

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This image released by NASA on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, shows Charon, in enhanced color by captured by NASA’s New Horizons captured just before closest approach on July 14, 2015. Massive canyons and fractures are clearly visible on Charon, which is more than half of Pluto’s size. (NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI via AP)

(AP) — Pluto’s big moon, Charon, is being revealed in all its rugged glory.

NASA released the best color pictures yet of Charon on Thursday. The images were taken by the New Horizons spacecraft during its flyby of Pluto in July and transmitted to Earth 1½ weeks ago.

Massive canyons and fractures are clearly visible on Charon, which is more than half of Pluto’s size. The canyons stretch more than 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) above the equator, across the entire face of Charon. These canyons are four times as long as the Grand Canyon and, in places, twice as deep.

Even better pictures are anticipated as flight controllers at Johns Hopkins University receive more data from New Horizons, now about 3 billion miles (5 billion kilometers) from Earth.

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Online:

Hopkins: http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/

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