A Picture of Pluto's Moon Charon

Charon Facts

  • Moon Name: Charon
  • Formed: About 4.5 billion years ago
  • Discovered: June 22, 1978 by James Christy
  • Distance from Pluto: Between 12,175 miles (perigee) and 12,170 miles (apogee)
  • Distance from the Sun: 3.6 billion miles on average
  • Time to Orbit Around Pluto: A little over 6 Earth days
  • Total Surface Area: 2,844,850 square miles

11 Charon Facts for Kids

  1. Charon formed about 4.5 billion years ago.
  2. Charon was discovered by James Christy on June 22, 1978.
  3. James Christy gave Charon its name after the mythological ferryman who carried souls across the river Acheron. Additionally, the name Charon shared the same first four letters as his wife, Charlene.
  4. Charon is one of Pluto’s five known moons.
  5. Charon is ⅛ the size of the dwarf planet Pluto.
  6. Charon has a radius of about 376 miles.
  7. The closest Charon gets to Pluto is 12,175 miles (perigee).
  8. The farthest Charon gets from Pluto is 12,170 miles (apogee).
  9. It takes Charon about a little over six Earth days to orbit the dwarf planet Pluto.
  10. Technically, Charon and the dwarf planet Pluto orbit each other, and are considered a binary system.
  11. NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is the only probe to visit the dwarf planet Pluto, Charon and its other 4 moons.

Pluto Moon Facts

Additional Resources on Pluto's moon Charon