One day after the triumphant success of the New Horizon spacecraft's journey to Pluto, NASA unveiled a breathtaking close-up image of the dwarf planet's landscape and a new image of its largest moon, Charon.
The detailed photo of Pluto's rocky and icy terrain revealed a mountain range with peaks as high as 11,000 feet (3,500 meters), according to NASA.
"The mountains likely formed no more than 100 million years ago -- mere youngsters relative to the 4.56-billion-year age of the solar system -- and may still be in the process of building," said Jeff Moore of New Horizons' Geology, Geophysics and Imaging Team (GGI).
"This is one of the youngest surfaces we've ever seen in the solar system," Moore said.
Due to the age of the surface, the region photographed could still be geologically active today, but it's unclear at this time what may be generating the mountainous landscape.
"Unlike the icy moons of giant planets, Pluto cannot be heated by gravitational interactions with a much larger planetary body," NASA stated.
The high-resolution image of Charon was taken at a distance of 289,000 miles (466,000 kilometers) from New Horizons' Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), NASA said.
NASA scientists were surprised at the "youthful" and varied" terrain that was devoid of many craters.
New Horizons was also able to observe the four other moons of the Pluto system: Nix, Hydra, Styx and Kerberos.
More higher resolution images from New Horizon's journey to Pluto are expected to be released later this week.
New Horizons' journey through space consisted of nine and a half years and 3 billion miles. New Horizons was launched on Jan. 19, 2006, passing various planets on its journey to discover more about Pluto.
Pluto was discovered in 1930, by Clyde Tombaugh at Lowell Observatory and became the ninth planet of the solar system. In 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) changed the definition of a major planet, changing Pluto's classification to a dwarf planet.
Content contributed by AccuWeather Staff Writer Heather Janssen