Close-Ups of Ultima Thule

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Skalar
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Close-Ups of Ultima Thule

Post by Skalar » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:28 am

Ohh man, this is hella cool!!


Taken from:
http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/New ... e=20190102
January 2, 2019
NASA's New Horizons Mission Reveals Entirely New Kind of World
Images of the Kuiper Belt object Ultima Thule unveil the very first stages of solar system's history


January 2, 2019
Press Briefing: First Results
View slides from press conference »
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This image taken by the Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) is the most detailed of Ultima Thule returned so far by the New Horizons spacecraft. It was taken at 5:01 Universal Time on January 1, 2019, just 30 minutes before closest approach from a range of 18,000 miles (28,000 kilometers), with an original scale of 459 feet (140 meters) per pixel. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
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The first color image of Ultima Thule, taken at a distance of 85,000 miles (137,000 kilometers) at 4:08 Universal Time on January 1, 2019, highlights its reddish surface. At left is an enhanced color image taken by the Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC), produced by combining the near infrared, red and blue channels. The center image taken by the Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) has a higher spatial resolution than MVIC by approximately a factor of five. At right, the color has been overlaid onto the LORRI image to show the color uniformity of the Ultima and Thule lobes. Note the reduced red coloring at the neck of the object. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Scientists from NASA's New Horizons mission released the first detailed images of the most distant object ever explored — the Kuiper Belt object nicknamed Ultima Thule. Its remarkable appearance, unlike anything we've seen before, illuminates the processes that built the planets four and a half billion years ago.

"This flyby is a historic achievement," said New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. "Never before has any spacecraft team tracked down such a small body at such high speed so far away in the abyss of space. New Horizons has set a new bar for state-of-the-art spacecraft navigation."

The new images — taken from as close as 17,000 miles (27,000 kilometers) on approach — revealed Ultima Thule as a "contact binary," consisting of two connected spheres. End to end, the world measures 19 miles (31 kilometers) in length. The team has dubbed the larger sphere "Ultima" (12 miles/19 kilometers across) and the smaller sphere "Thule" (9 miles/14 kilometers across).

The team says that the two spheres likely joined as early as 99 percent of the way back to the formation of the solar system, colliding no faster than two cars in a fender-bender.

"New Horizons is like a time machine, taking us back to the birth of the solar system. We are seeing a physical representation of the beginning of planetary formation, frozen in time," said Jeff Moore, New Horizons Geology and Geophysics team lead. "Studying Ultima Thule is helping us understand how planets form — both those in our own solar system and those orbiting other stars in our galaxy."

Data from the New Year's Day flyby will continue to arrive over the next weeks and months, with much higher resolution images yet to come.

"In the coming months, New Horizons will transmit dozens of data sets to Earth, and we'll write new chapters in the story of Ultima Thule — and the solar system," said Helene Winters, New Horizons Project Manager.

The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, designed, built and operates the New Horizons spacecraft, and manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. The Southwest Research Institute, based in San Antonio, leads the science team, payload operations and encounter science planning. New Horizons is part of the New Frontiers Program managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Follow the New Horizons mission on Twitter and use the hashtags #UltimaThule, #UltimaFlyby and #askNewHorizons to join the conversation. Live updates and links to mission information are also available on http://pluto.jhuapl.edu and www.nasa.gov.

Timothydom
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Close Ups of Ultima Thule

Post by Timothydom » Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:37 pm

Ultima Thule: so very far, and yet New Horizons brings it to my computer room Fantastic accomplishment Somethings in this day and age are rewarding

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Re: Close-Ups of Ultima Thule

Post by Skalar » Sat Mar 09, 2019 11:39 pm

Indeed

Edwardjeamy
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Close Ups of Ultima Thule

Post by Edwardjeamy » Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:32 pm

Is it a coincidence that Ultima Thule has two lobes very similar to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on which the U.S. landed a probe?

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Re: Close-Ups of Ultima Thule

Post by Skalar » Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:40 pm

They suspect both bodies originated from 2 objects orbiting each other, which eventually collided at a slow gentle speed to create 1 object.

A "Contact Binary"

May be a common thing in the Kuiier belt, of which both Ultima Thule is a member of, and suspected Churyumov–Gerasimenko is a former member of.

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