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New Horizons Team Shares a Fresh Slice of Charon, Pluto’s Biggest Moon

Image: Charon
This new image of an area on Pluto's largest moon Charon has a captivating feature -- a depression with a peak in the middle, shown here in the upper left corner of the inset. The image shows an area approximately 240 miles (390 kilometers) from top to bottom, including few visible craters. The image was taken at approximately 6:30 a.m. ET on July 14 from a range of 49,000 miles (79,000 kilometers). NASA / JHUAPL / SwRI

A newly released view of the edge of Charon reveals a weird depression in the icy surface of Pluto's biggest moon — with an irregular peak that's plopped right in the middle.

The picture, captured on Tuesday during the New Horizons spacecraft's close encounter with Pluto and its moons, shows an area approximately 240 miles (390 kilometers) from top to bottom, including few visible craters.

"The most intriguing feature is a large mountain sitting in a moat," Jeff Moore, a scientist from NASA's Ames Research Center who leads New Horizons' geology, geophysics and imaging team, said Thursday in a NASA image advisory. "This is a feature that has geologists stunned and stumped."

Reaching Pluto: '15 Years of Pent Up Emotion' 1:44

Related: New Horizons Mission Reveals Huge Crater on Charon

The piano-sized New Horizons spacecraft was about 49,000 miles (79,000 kilometers) away from Charon when its Long Range Reconnaissance Imager took the picture. It's just a foretaste of the goodies that are expected to be released on Friday in conjunction with a 1 p.m. ET news briefing at NASA Headquarters.

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