Mordor Macula

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Mordor Macula is the dark area
Mordor Macula is located at Charon's north pole.

Mordor Macula /ˈmɔːrdɔːr/ is a large dark area about 475 km in diameter near the north pole of Charon, Pluto's largest moon.[1][2] It is named after the black land in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which it strongly resembles in shape.[citation needed] The name is not official; the discovery team has been using the name informally and may submit it to the IAU.[3]

It is now known what Mordor Macula is made from. It is made from methane which travels from Pluto and lands on Charon. It may be frozen gases captured from Pluto's escaping atmosphere, a large impact basin, or both.[4][5]


  1. ^ Nemiroff, Robert; Bonnell, Jerry (17 July 2015). "APOD: 2015 July 17 – Charon". Astronomy Picture of the Day. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  2. ^ "NASA unveils historic, high-resolution Pluto, Charon, and Hydra photos from New Horizons mission". Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  3. ^ Charon Comes into Focus in New Horizons' Latest Photos, Article from Wired.
  4. ^ Nola Taylor Redd. "Mystery Solved? Why Pluto's Big Moon Charon Has a Red Pole". Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  5. ^ Scott K. Johnson (September 14, 2016). "Millions of years for half a millimeter: Pluto puts red caps on Charon". Ars Technica. Retrieved 16 September 2016.