Technology: NASA's faraway space snowman has flat, not round, behind - PressFrom - US
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TechnologyNASA's faraway space snowman has flat, not round, behind

12:31  12 february  2019
12:31  12 february  2019 Source:   msn.com

First Clear Picture of Ultima Thule Reveals Snowman-Like Shape

First Clear Picture of Ultima Thule Reveals Snowman-Like Shape The New Horizons team has released the first high-resolution images of (486958) 2014 MU69, nicknamed Ultima Thule, the furthest object ever explored by a spacecraft. New Horizons launched in 2006 and flew by its initial target, Pluto, in 2015. NASA then extended the mission to analyze a new target, a Kuiper Belt Object called (486958) 2014 MU69, or MU69 for short. Ultima Thule is a temporary nickname until a formal name is selected, likely this year. The probe reached its target on New Year’s Day at 12:33 am ET, though the signal traveling at light speed didn’t reach Earth until yesterday morning.

1, 2019, file image made available by NASA shows the Kuiper belt object Ultima Thule, about 1 billion miles beyond Pluto, encountered by the New Horizons spacecraft. When viewed from the front, Ultima Thule still resembles a two-ball snowman . But from the side, the snowman looks squashed

(AP) — The faraway space snowman visited by NASA last month has a surprisingly flat — not round — behind . "It would be closer to reality to say Ultima Thule' s shape is flatter , like a pancake. But more importantly, the new images are creating scientific puzzles about how such an object could even

NASA's faraway space snowman has flat, not round, behind© The Associated Press FILE- This Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, file image made available by NASA shows the Kuiper belt object Ultima Thule, about 1 billion miles beyond Pluto, encountered by the New Horizons spacecraft. New photos from the New Horizons spacecraft offer a new perspective on the small cosmic body 4 billion miles (6.4 billion kilometers) away. Scientists say the object is actually flatter on the backside than originally thought. (NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute via AP, File)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The faraway space snowman visited by NASA last month has a surprisingly flat — not round — behind.

Lights, camera, action! Tumbling space snowman in film debut

Lights, camera, action! Tumbling space snowman in film debut The tumbling space snowman is making its out-of-this-world film premiere. Scientists from NASA's New Horizons mission on Tuesday released the first stitched together animation of Ultima Thule (TOO-lee), the most distant object ever explored by humans. The small, icy object is shown spinning end-over-end like a propeller. It is about 4 billion miles from Earth and looks like a reddish snowman with two fused-together spheres, extending about 21 miles (33 kilometers) in length.

Scientists say the two-lobed object, nicknamed Ultima Thule, is actually flatter on the backside than originally thought. When viewed from the front, Ultima Thule still resembles a two-ball snowman . But from the side , the snowman looks squashed, sort of like a lemon and pie stuck together, end to end.

(AP) — The faraway space snowman visited by NASA last month has a surprisingly flat — not round — behind . New photos from the New Horizons spacecraft When viewed from the front, Ultima Thule still resembles a two-ball snowman . But from the side , the snowman looks squashed, sort of like a

New photos from the New Horizons spacecraft offer a new perspective on the small cosmic body 4 billion miles (6.4 billion kilometers) away. The two-lobed object, nicknamed Ultima Thule, is actually flatter on the backside than originally thought, according to scientists.

Pictures released late last week — taken shortly after closest approach on New Year's Day — provide an outline of the side not illuminated by the sun.

When viewed from the front, Ultima Thule still resembles a two-ball snowman. But from the side , the snowman looks squashed, sort of like a lemon and pie stuck together, end to end.

Best image yet of 'space snowman'

Best image yet of 'space snowman' Deep pits on the surface of the small, icy object Ultima Thule come into much sharper view.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The faraway space snowman visited by NASA last month has a flat — not round — behind . New photos from the New Horizons spacecraft offer a new perspective on the small cosmic body 4 billion miles (6.4 billion kilometres) away .

The faraway space snowman visited by NASA last month has a flat — not round — behind . New photos from the New Horizons spacecraft offer a new perspective o. Scientists say the two-lobed object, nicknamed Ultima Thule, is actually flatter on the backside than originally thought.

"Seeing more data has significantly changed our view," Southwest Research Institute's Alan Stern, the lead scientist, said in a statement. "It would be closer to reality to say Ultima Thule's shape is flatter, like a pancake. But more importantly, the new images are creating scientific puzzles about how such an object could even be formed. We've never seen something like this orbiting the sun."

Project scientist Hal Weaver of Johns Hopkins University, home to New Horizons flight control center, said the finding should spark new theories on how such primitive objects formed early in the solar system.

Ultima Thule — considered a contact binary — is the most distant world ever explored. New Horizons zipped past it at high speed, after becoming the first visitor to Pluto in 2015. Mission managers hope to target an even more distant celestial object in this so-called Kuiper Belt, on the frozen fringes of the solar system, if the spacecraft remains healthy.

New Horizons is already 32 million miles (52 million kilometers) beyond Ultima Thule. It will take another 1 ½ years to beam back all the flyby data.

The spacecraft rocketed from Florida in 2006.

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The Associated Press Health & Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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