NASA’s exploratory spaceship, New Horizons has spotted and captured a mega sized canyon across Charon, according to a Science Journal report dated June 24, 2016.
The images depict that the newly found canyon, dubbed Argo Chasma is both much wider as well as deeper than the Grand Canyon here on Earth.
An image of Argo Chasma was snapped and returned to NASA’s observatory on Earth around 9 hours before the spaceship could reach its closest point to Charon.
The images sent to Earth of one of Pluto’s largest moons were taken at a distance of 466,000 kilometers away from the moon.
The north-eastern part of Charon is seen housing a ridge halfway across the moon that extends towards its western hemisphere.
The image shot depicts a resolution of 2.33kms per pixel and was taken with New Horizons’ LRRI (Long Range Reconnaissance Imager).
NASA Spots ‘Super Grand Canyon’ On Pluto’s Moon:
While the image provided shows you that Argo Chasma is about 300kms long, it happens to be only a part of the canyon.
The Argo Chasma in its entirety is assumed to be around 700kms long while the largest canyon on Earth measures just 450kms in length. It’s not just the length of the newly discovered inter-planetary canyon that makes a new record, but its depth too.
Scientists believe that the Argo Chasma is as deep as 9kms, which happens to be 5x deeper than Earth’s Grand Canyon.
Further studies have revealed, that what may now be the largest canyon in our solar system also happens to house the highest cliffs. Cliff sides on Argo Chasma are estimated to be several kilometers high, apparently even higher than those on Miranda, Uranus’ moon.
Recording-holding cliff sides on the moon Miranda are known to measure a length of about 5kms in height, and the cliffs on Argo Chasma are much taller; making the cliffs on Pluto’s moon that tallest in our solar system.