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Tech & Science Distant object at edge of Solar System is an ancient relic from 4.5 billion years ago

06:01  18 may  2019
06:01  18 may  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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The solar system formed about 4 . 5 billion years ago . The core accretion model. But this distant space rock at the far edge of our Solar System is actually an ancient relic that 's remained largely untouched – even by the heat of the Sun – since its formation roughly 4 . 5 billion years ago , a new

But this distant space rock at the far edge of our Solar System is actually an ancient relic that 's remained largely untouched – even by the heat of the Sun – since its formation roughly 4 . 5 billion years ago , a new study said. A planet in our solar system needs a name - and you can help.

It's a rather uninspiring object, with no moons, rings or dust clouds in orbit around it; nor is there any evidence of an atmosphere.

But this distant space rock at the far edge of our Solar System is actually an ancient relic that's remained largely untouched – even by the heat of the Sun – since its formation roughly 4.5 billion years ago, a new study said.

The unassuming, 20-mile-long object, which looks like a snowman that's been flattened like a pancake, is informally known as "Ultima Thule."

Distant object at edge of Solar System is an ancient relic from 4.5 billion years ago

Distant object at edge of Solar System is an ancient relic from 4.5 billion years ago It's a rather uninspiring object, with no moons, rings or dust clouds in orbit around it; nor is there any evidence of an atmosphere. But this distant space rock at the far edge of our Solar System is actually an ancient relic that's remained largely untouched – even by the heat of the Sun – since its formation roughly 4.5 billion years ago, a new study said. The unassuming, 20-mile-long object, which looks like a snowman that's been flattened like a pancake, is informally known as "Ultima Thule." Thus, it preserves clues about the early history of the Solar System.

But this distant space rock at the far edge of our Solar System is actually an ancient relic that 's remained largely untouched – even by the heat of the Sun – since its formation roughly 4 . 5 billion years ago , a new study said. The unassuming, 20-mile-long object , which looks like a snowman

Distant object at edge of Solar System is an ancient fragment from 4 . 5 billion years ago . But this distant space rock at the far edge of our Solar System is actually an ancient relic that 's remained largely untouched – even by the heat of the Sun – since its formation roughly 4 . 5 billion

Thus, it preserves clues about the early history of the Solar System.

Earlier this year, on New Year's Day, NASA's unmanned New Horizons spacecraft conducted a flyby of the object, which is officially known as MU69. Data from the flyby continues to be received and analyzed by scientists here on Earth.

“The New Horizons flyby of MU69 is humanity's first look at one of the building blocks of our Solar System,” the University of Virginia's Anne Verbiscer, one of the co-authors of the study, told Forbes. “We knew very little about this object before the flyby.”

Distant object at edge of Solar System is an ancient relic from 4.5 billion years ago © Provided by USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc.


According to the new study, it's actually two big rocks that apparently merged rather gently: "All available evidence indicates that MU69 is .... the product of a gentle collision or merger of two independently formed bodies," the study said.

Something Appears to Have Ripped a Massive Hole in the Milky Way's Edge

Something Appears to Have Ripped a Massive Hole in the Milky Way's Edge Something Appears to Have Ripped a Massive Hole in the Milky Way's Edge

The solar system formed about 4 . 5 billion years ago . The core accretion model. But this distant space rock at the far edge of our Solar System is actually an ancient relic that 's remained largely untouched – even by the heat of the Sun – since its formation roughly 4 . 5 billion years ago , a new.

But this distant space rock at the far edge of our Solar System is actually an ancient relic that 's remained largely untouched – even by the heat of the Sun – since its formation roughly 4 . 5 billion years ago , a new study said. A planet in our solar system needs a name - and you can help.

The object is out in the Kuiper Belt, a group of rocks and ice at the far reaches of our Solar System. According to CNET, Kuiper Belt objects orbit the sun so far out they may wander in the frigid void for billions of years undisturbed and therefore unchanged since the Solar System formed.

"New Horizons is like a time machine, taking us back to the birth of the solar system," Jeff Moore of NASA’s Ames Research Center, a study co-author, said earlier this year. "We are seeing a physical representation of the beginning of planetary formation, frozen in time.

"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," Moore said.

The space rock is roughly 1 billion miles away from Pluto – making it the most distant object ever visited by a spacecraft. It's also about 4 billion miles from the sun, and takes almost 300 years to complete an orbit.

We're Finally Learning More About MU69, The Strange, Flat Rock In The Outer Solar System

We're Finally Learning More About MU69, The Strange, Flat Rock In The Outer Solar System New Horizons mission scientists have released the first peer-reviewed results from their study of 2014 MU69, demonstrating just how “pristine” this object is. (486958) 2014 MU69, nicknamed Ultima Thule, appears to be a pair of rocks squished together, each around 16km across. It orbits the Sun at a distance of around 6.5 billion km (Pluto orbits at around 5.9 billion km). It seems to have remained relatively unaltered from the solar system’s earliest era, and it already presented some surprises when the New Horizon spacecraft transmitted its first images back — and now, those first results are published and vetted.

But this distant space rock at the far edge of our Solar System is actually an ancient relic that ’s remained largely untouched – even by the heat of the Sun – since its formation roughly 4 . 5 billion years ago , a new study said. The unassuming, 20-mile-long object , which looks like a snowman

The formation and evolution of the Solar System began 4 . 5 billion years ago with the gravitational collapse of a small part of a giant molecular cloud. Most of the collapsing mass collected in the center, forming the Sun, while the rest flattened into a protoplanetary disk out of which the planets, moons

Ultima Thule was first discovered in 2014 by astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope.

Pictures: 19 incredible images of our world snapped from space (PocketLint)

Distant object at edge of Solar System is an ancient relic from 4.5 billion years ago


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