Pluto’s Icy Moon Has a Feature Bigger Than the Grand Canyon

Pluto’s Icy Moon Has a Feature Bigger Than the Grand Canyon
Source: NASA
Source: NASA

Arizona's Grand Canyon is an incredible geological feature, but there's an even more impressive one lurking near the edge of our solar system.

NASA has released an image of a vast canyon on Pluto's largest moon, Charon. The canyon is called Argo Chasma, and it's so massive, NASA's calling it a "Super Grand Canyon."

Scientists estimate Argo Chasma spans about 430 miles, while the Grand Canyon on Earth is only about 280 miles long. Argo Chasma also plunges about 5.5 miles deep at some points — five times the depth of the Grand Canyon. 

From this angle, you can see the edge of the canyon on the right side of the moon:

Argo Chasma on Charon.
Source: 
NASA

The New Horizons spacecraft captured the image last July, when it barreled past Pluto and its moons.

From the image, Argo Chasma looks like it might have long, straight cliff walls, according to NASA. The cliffs could replace Verona Rupes, which is at least 3 miles high, on Uranus' moon Miranda as the tallest in our solar system. (You could actually jump off that cliff and still survive, thanks to the weak gravity on Miranda.)

With impressive stats like that, Argo Chasma stands to become a popular tourist destination — if we ever become an interplanetary species, that is.

Read more:
NASA Just Released One of the Sharpest Images of Pluto Ever
Water on Pluto? Scientists Just Discovered a Possible Subsurface Ocean on the Dwarf Planet
Pluto's 'Ice Spider' Is Nothing Like Scientists Have Ever Seen in the Outer Solar System

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