NASA has taken the next steps toward building Space Launch System (SLS) solid rocket boosters for as many as six additional flights. The lack of such oblateness in Charon could mean that it is currently in hydrostatic equilibrium, or simply that its orbit approached its current one early in its history, when it was still warm.
The discovery of Charon allowed astronomers to calculate accurately the mass of the Plutonian system, and mutual occultations revealed their sizes.
Charon, also known as (134340) Pluto I, is the largest of the five known natural satellites of the dwarf planet Pluto.It has a mean radius of 606 km (377 mi).
It is now thought that Pluto and Charon might have been two bodies that collided before going into orbit about each other.
The next full Moon will be early Sunday morning, July 5, 2020. The New Horizons spacecraft is the only probe that has visited the Pluto system. Charon is the sixth-largest trans-Neptunian object after Pluto, Eris, Haumea, Makemake and Gonggong. Rifts as deep as 4 miles exist on Charon's surface, possibly giving scientists a way to examine for further clues.
Charon was discovered by United States Naval Observatory astronomer James Christy, using the 1.55-meter (61 in) telescope at United States Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station (NOFS). Pluto-Charon is our solar system's only known double planetary system. Kristen Erickson Charon (/ˈkɛərən/ or /ˈʃærən/), also known as (134340) Pluto I, is the largest of the five known natural satellites of the dwarf planet Pluto. The same surfaces of Charon and Pluto always face each other, a phenomenon called mutual tidal locking. The distance between them is 19,640 km (12,200 miles). Charon's discoverer James Christy and the children of Clyde Tombaugh were guests at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory during the New Horizons closest approach. , Charon's volume and mass allow calculation of its density, 1.702±0.017 g/cm3, from which it can be determined that Charon is slightly less dense than Pluto and suggesting a composition of 55% rock to 45% ice (± 5%), whereas Pluto is about 70% rock. It has a mean radius of 606 km (377 mi). Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. In the final definition, Pluto was reclassified as a dwarf planet, but the formal definition of a planetary satellite was not decided upon.
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