Charon Definition & Meaning

You’re browsing the GameFAQs Message Boards as a guest. Sign Up for free to be able to post messages, change how messages are displayed, and view media in posts. “2016 Lunar & Planetary Science Conference by National Institute of Aerospace”. Charon has a series of extensive grabens or canyons, such as Serenity Chasma, which extend as an equatorial belt for at least 1,000 km . Argo Chasma potentially reaches as deep as 9 km , with steep cliffs that may rival Verona Rupes on Miranda for the title of tallest cliff in the solar system.

Charon is even similar in size to Uranus’s moons Umbriel and Ariel. Charon’s slow rotation means that there should be little flattening or tidal distortion, if Charon is sufficiently massive to be in hydrostatic equilibrium. Any deviation from a perfect sphere is too small to have been detected by observations by the New Horizons mission.

One reference, possibly “Sky and Telescope” or an article in the paper, pronounced it “Karen”, the girls name. Feel free to discuss and share anything related to Greek Mythology. Jim Christy, the astronomer who discovered the moon in 1978, promised his wife Charlene he’d name it after her, which is a very romantic thing to do.

Photometric mapping of Charon’s surface shows a latitudinal trend in albedo, with a bright equatorial band and darker poles. The north polar region is dominated by a very large dark area informally dubbed “Mordor” by the New Horizons team. The favored explanation for this feature is that it is formed by condensation of gases that escaped from Pluto’s atmosphere. Later, when the area is again heated by the Sun as Charon’s seasons change, the temperature at the pole rises to −213 °C, resulting in the volatiles sublimating and escaping Charon, leaving only the tholins behind. Over millions of years, the residual tholin builds up thick layers, obscuring the icy crust.

However, since it was IAU custom to stick with mythological names, the astronomical community was all set to name the moon “Persephone” to stick with the Underworld theme they had going. In English, Charon has two slightly different, but correct pronunciations. While both ways to say Charon maintain a “k” sound for the “Ch” at the beginning of Charon, the difference is where the stress falls.

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Charon was discovered by United States Naval Observatory astronomer James Christy, using the 1.55-meter telescope at United States Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station . On June 22, 1978, he had been examining highly magnified images of Pluto on photographic plates taken with the telescope two months prior. Christy noticed that a slight elongation appeared periodically.

In a released photo by New Horizons, an unusual surface feature has captivated and baffled the scientist team of the mission. The image reveals a mountain rising out of a depression. It’s “a large mountain sitting paladin names in a moat”, said Jeff Moore, of NASA’s Ames Research Center, in a statement. “This is a feature that has geologists stunned and stumped”, he added. New Horizons captured the photo from a distance of 79,000 km .

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