‘Something wonderful’: Peaks on Pluto, Canyons on Charon

NASA has finally published the first image of Pluto after its New Horizons spacecraft successfully completed its mission and captured the icy mountains.


NASA tweeted the image taken by New Horizons during the historic flyby of the dwarf planet.

The spacecraft’s trip began almost a decade ago when Pluto was still considered the ninth planet in our solar system.

The heat that appears to be shaping Pluto may be coming from the decay of radioactive material normally found in planetary bodies, the scientists said.

Due to the extreme distance and extremely small bandwidth capability, New Horizons will continue beaming the pictures and data from Pluto to Earth over the next 16 months.

Naked pictures of Kim Kardashian may have broken the internet, but the first intimate image of Pluto will give them a run for their money.

The scientists are surprised by the apparent lack of craters on Charon.

USA space agency NASA revealed the first close-up images Wednesday of Pluto, showing towering, icy mountains on the dwarf planet’s surface.

Perhaps most notably, there are very few visible impact craters.

As the scientists pored over their new data, the plutonium-powered probe continued to speed ever farther away from Pluto. “This means they could be equally diverse and be equally unbelievable if we ever get a spacecraft out there to see them close up”. “The data look absolutely gorgeous, and Pluto and Charon are just mind blowing”, said Alan Stern, principal investigator for New Horizons. Astronomers believe that there are forces at play, which are not known yet, that may have caused the formation of mountain landscape.

“Charon blew our socks off. It is a small world with canyons, cliffs and dark areas that are still mysterious to us”, deputy mission manager Cathy Olkin said.

NASA also hinted that there would be more close-up images of Pluto and Charon to come via the New Horizons probe. In terms of brightness, it’s right between Pluto – which is highly reflective – and Charon, which is slightly less so. However, it’s not the only geological anomaly New Horizons has spotted.

New Horizons is the first scientific investigation to explore the edge of our solar system.


The New Horizons spacecraft was designed and built by The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland.

Coming attractions: 1st close-up pictures of Pluto