Pluto’s largest moon, Charon, is believed to be volcanically active. Scientists thought it might have been an “ancient terrain, covered in craters,” but the newest image shows that’s not really the case:

Image for article titled Spectacular photos from New Horizons showcase Pluto’s 11,000-foot “ice mountains”
Image: NASA

The dark area near its north pole was nicknamed “Mordor” (after the hellish region in Middle earth). Toward the bottom right, there is a canyon four to six miles deep. The Grand Canyon is only about a mile deep at its deepest point.

New Horizons also took the first resolved image of Pluto’s outermost moon, Hydra, which they discovered is probably comprised of water ice as well.

During the flyby, New Horizons went dark in order to accumulate as much information as possible. As expected, the spacecraft survived the encounter and “phoned home” to NASA around 9pm EST. Then, the downloading began. New Horizons slowly started sending information to NASA’s Deep Space Network station in Canberra, Australia.

Around 11am EST, the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, which operates New Horizons, posted another image of Pluto online that was taken by the spacecraft’s LORRI instrument. Though there’s no color, it shows Pluto from a different angle from Tuesday’s momentous picture:

Image: NASA

JHUAPL also uploaded this photo of Pluto’s moon Charon:

Charon LORRI
Image: NASA

And here is the New Horizons team, along with internet favorite Bill Nye, reacting to the flyby on Tuesday:

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