Pluto’s moon Charon busted out of its skin

New analysis of Pluto’s largest moon adds weight to the idea that Charon once contained an ocean.

This image focuses on a section of the feature informally named Serenity Chasma, part of a vast equatorial belt of chasms on Charon. In fact, this system of chasms is one of the longest seen anywhere in the Solar System, running at least 1,800 kilometres long and reaching 7.5 kilometres deep. By comparison, the Grand Canyon is 446 kilometres long and just over a 1.6 kilometres deep. The lower portion of the image shows colour-coded topography of the same scene. Measurements of the shape of this feature tell scientists that Charon’s water-ice layer may have been at least partially liquid in its early history, and has since refrozen. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute