Thursday, 21 February, 2019


NASA spacecraft sends images of icy object past Pluto

The body is roughly 19 miles long and completes its own rotation in about 15 hours The body is roughly 19 miles long and completes its own rotation in about 15 hours
Kristine Garrett | 03 January, 2019, 04:10

NASA's New Horizons mission flew by the object early on January 1, and the maneuver's science data will reach Earth over the course of almost two months. With any luck, upcoming projects like the James Webb Space Telescope will further expand our understanding of the universe.

NASA had a very happy New Year when its New Horizons spacecraft successfully flew by mysterious Ultima Thule, a space rock located a billion miles past Pluto in the Kuiper Belt.

The scientists now say with confidence that Ultima Thule long ago was two bodies that got stuck together, what they call a "contact binary".

The last time we saw Utlima Thule, it was a blur against the blackness of space, something not almost convincing enough of its existence.

"I've said it a number of times, I think New Horizons is an example - one of the best examples in our time - of raw exploration, and the term Ultima Thule, which is very old, many centuries old, possibly over a thousand years old, is a wonderful meme for exploration", Stern said.

The flyby took place about a billion miles beyond Pluto, which was until now the most faraway world ever visited up close by a spacecraft. Two black-and-white pictures were released, with a resolution as fine as 140 meters (460 feet) per pixel.

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the target of the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission, is another example of this kind of object, however that is likely where the resemblance between MU69 and Comet 67P ends. The left image is color-enhanced. "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", she said. At right, the colour has been overlaid onto the LORRI image to show the colour uniformity of the Ultima and Thule lobes. While Earth anxiously sucks in a deep breath of anticipation, scientists have finally determined the color of Ultima Thule.

The colour variation shows just how dark the object is with the brightest areas reflecting just 13 per cent of the light falling on them. It zoomed past Pluto - collecting numerous photos and reams of information about the now dwarf planet - in July 2015, and reached Ultima Thule early on New Year's Day. Over time, dust and pebbles clumped together to form the object's two lobes, which eventually combined to form a single body.

The object looked sort of looked like a fuzzy bowling pin.

So how did Ultima Thule form? The rock had no obvious impact craters. "What you're seeing is the first contact binary ever explored by a spacecraft", Stern said today at a press conference here at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

The dark object is formed of two spheres which have combined to form one celestial object.

After New Horizons has had a chance to get closer to the object, to determine more about its characteristics, NASA scientists will decide on a permanent name.

Recommended

loading...
...

White House calls Democrats' plan to end shutdown 'non-starter' White House calls Democrats' plan to end shutdown 'non-starter' As long as House Democrats stick to their guns, is hard to see a graceful exit strategy for Trump and Senate Republicans. He's invited Democratic and Republican congressional leaders to a White House meeting Wednesday on border security.

John Wall To Undergo Heel Surgery, Will Miss Remainder Of The Season John Wall To Undergo Heel Surgery, Will Miss Remainder Of The Season For a player like Wall, who relies on his speed and athleticism, a heel injury is very hard to play through. Wall, who also missed a game December 10 with heel pain, is averaging 20.7 points and 8.7 assists per game.

Le Parisien: Barça and Rabiot have reached contract agreement Le Parisien: Barça and Rabiot have reached contract agreement In an official statement the club responded to numerous stories suggesting that a deal had already been reached with the player. Rabiot will probably be left at home when the PSG squad travels to Qatar in mid-January for the club's Winter Tour.

Six Killed And 16 Injured In Train Crash On Bridge In Denmark Six Killed And 16 Injured In Train Crash On Bridge In Denmark Six people are dead after a passenger train on its way to Copenhagen was struck by objects from a freight train. In total, there were 131 passengers and three employees on board the train at the time of the impact.

Kanye West upset with Drake for this reason Kanye West upset with Drake for this reason He continued tweeting on New Year's Day, saying, "They will not program me", he wrote . "They love her", an insider revealed. ET Canada has reached out to Kardashian and West's rep for comment, but they have not yet responded.

India make Ashwin U-turn, Ishant left out India make Ashwin U-turn, Ishant left out Watch the ICC Cricket World Cup, the Ashes and the Women's Ashes live on Sky Sports Cricket in 2019! It isn't often that Indian fast-bowlers outclass their Australian counterparts on the latter's turf.

CCTV footage shows men transporting ‘Khashoggi body parts’ CCTV footage shows men transporting ‘Khashoggi body parts’ Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate on October 2 to obtain documents certifying he divorced his ex-wife so he could remarry. The video shows the team arriving at the consul general's residence in Istanbul.

Xi Jinping says China 'must be, will be' reunified with Taiwan Xi Jinping says China 'must be, will be' reunified with Taiwan Xi said, specifically pointing to the Hong Kong model of " one country two systems " as a Taiwanese solution. What China calls "reunification" should happen peacefully and Beijing would protect Taiwan's freedoms, Mr.

Ben Roethlisberger Downplays Antonio Brown Dispute, Didn't See 'Blowout' Ben Roethlisberger Downplays Antonio Brown Dispute, Didn't See 'Blowout' It looked like the Steelers were going to turn their season around following their 17-10 win over the Patriots in Week 15. For two straight years, the Steelers have been inundated with controversy at the end of a disappointing campaign.

Pep Guardiola concerned by Liverpool’s ‘cheating’ but confident they will burn out Pep Guardiola concerned by Liverpool’s ‘cheating’ but confident they will burn out In October, he reined in his fullbacks and kept the central midfield compact and close to his wingers. Guardiola, not Klopp, has been the one tinkering with tactics heading into their matchups.

Tear gas fired as dozens of migrants try illegal crossing to US Tear gas fired as dozens of migrants try illegal crossing to US Most of the migrants returned to Mexico through a hole under the fence and by climbing back over the fence. Twenty-five people were apprehended, CBP said, without elaborating about where the detainees were sent.

Spurs back up to second after easy win in Cardiff Spurs back up to second after easy win in Cardiff Tottenham: Lloris 7, Trippier 7, Alderweireld 6, Sanchez 6, Rose 6, Winks 7, Sissoko 8, Eriksen 8, Alli 6, Son 8, Kane 8. Spurs have won their last five Premier League games on New Year's Day to suggest a return to winning ways is likely.

Winter Classic practice moves inside due to rain Winter Classic practice moves inside due to rain The Dallas Stars will host the NHL's annual outdoor game on New Year's Day 2020, according to Canadian sports media. Bettman also announced the return of the Heritage Classic , the outdoor series of games featuring Canadian teams.

NK leader warns of seeking 'new way' if USA pressure continues NK leader warns of seeking 'new way' if USA  pressure continues Little progress has been made since Mr Kim met US President Donald Trump in Singapore in June previous year . A second summit is being planned for January or February, according to Trump.

New Year’s Day Mega Millions jackpot reaches $415 million New Year’s Day Mega Millions jackpot reaches $415 million If a single ticket victor chooses the cash option for Tuesday's jackpot they'll walk away with a lump sum of about $254.6 million. That run has pumped-up the pot for Tuesday, January 1 to that $425 mark or $254.6 million with the cash option selected.