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Flyby Fever

31 Dec 2018, 20:26 UTC
Flyby Fever
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New Horizons Nears its Target
In less than 10 hours, the New Horizons spacecraft is going to whiz past Ultima Thule (the nickname for 2014 MU69), its latest target. The first of the “best” images of this tiny world arrived earlier today, and it looks like an elongated blob. That’s not a bad thing. It tells us roughly about this world’s shape, but the few pixels we have are a testament to how small Ultima is.
At a pressd conference on Dec. 31, John Spencer from the New Horizons team revealed the latest good image of Ultima Thule, still a few pixels wid
So, there’s still a lot scientists don’t know about Ultima, although they do know it’s probably red (due to substances called tholins), and that it is the smallest and most distant object ever visited by a spacecraft. By this time tomorrow, we’ll know a lot more, after New Horizons blows past and gets us a few more pixels’ worth of image detail.
As they like to say elsewhere, stay tuned! The best is yet to come.
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