After years of anticipation, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has conducted the farthest-ever flyby of an object in space. Now, the mission’s scientists have received more detailed images from the flyby, revealing that Kuiper Belt Object 2014 MU69, better known as Ultima Thule, resembles a 20-mile long celestial snowman.
Ultima Thule Comes Into Focus as New Images Reveal Secrets
Published: January 4, 2019
Onscreen: 4 billion miles from Earth, NASA spacecraft New Horizons reached the farthest object explored by humans in history. The tiny object has been little more than a pixel.
John Spencer: I am totally elated. It was just like nothing we’d ever seen before.
Cathy Olkin: I couldn’t have predicted that it would look so cleanly separated into two bodies. And that tells us something about the formation of this object. These two lobes would’ve formed separately, and then been rotating around each other and slowly gotten closer and closer until they just barely touched and stuck.
Anne Bowman: To have the pictures come down and show this object was pretty spectacular. We all feel a huge sense of accomplishment.
Pluto and Beyond
Written, Produced, and Directed by: Terri Randall
Additional Camera: Richard Chisolm
Digital Producers: Emily Zendt and Ana Aceves
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