New Horizons reaches Ultima Thule!


(Joshua Hedlund) #1

Yesterday we got the first decent images of an object out in the Kuiper Belt, the farthest world ever visited by a spacecraft, and it looks like a contact binary! It’s been fun to watch the images come in over the last few days, from a pixel to a few pixels to now a few hundred pixels

https://twitter.com/NewHorizonsIMG/

Also the story of how we even detected this object while looking for something to visit after Pluto is pretty amazing in itself

Better pictures and other data should keep trickling in but it will take months to get it all due to the slow rate of transfer from so far away (yet another amazing feat of technology!)


(Phil) #2

Thanks for posting, that is amazing stuff.


(RiderOnTheClouds) #3

Time to start the Snowman Earth Society


(Joshua Hedlund) #4

Here’s a YouTube video that elaborates on how we discovered this object:

I’m still geeking out about how they hypothesized the double shape by taking a series of Earth-based telescopes at different latitudes (that were not powerful enough to observe the object directly) and measuring the differences in timing of the object crossing in front of the same background star at each angle… and they were proven correct!


(Phil) #5

It really is an incredible feat. It is amazing also that it takes a radio signal 6 hours to reach here from there. That is a long distance call!


(Mark D.) #6

My wife and I watched it on PBS just the other night. The way I hey managed locate a target where none had been known and navigate to it on the fly - with a six hour delay no less. Amazing!