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Full Version: Snowman-like Photo of Ultima Thule Sent Home by NASA’s New Horizons Spacecraft
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Snowman-like Photo of Ultima Thule Sent Home by NASA’s New Horizons Spacecraft
At a Wednesday news conference, scientists announced some results from the flyby of the most distant object ever visited.

LAUREL, Md. — Ultima Thule, an icy world 4 billion miles from the sun, looks like a big snowman.
At a news conference on Wednesday, scientists working with NASA’s New Horizons mission released several images that the spacecraft took as it flew by on Tuesday, New Year’s Day.
Planetary scientists have never before seen a close-up of a body like Ultima Thule. It is likely a fragment that coalesced more than 4.5 billion years ago and which has remained in the deep freeze of the solar system’s Kuiper belt ever since.
If it is indeed a pristine planetesimal, a building block of the planets, studying it will offer clues to how Earth and its neighbors formed.
On Tuesday, scientists released a blurry picture of this small world, also known by its official designation 2014 MU69, taken before the flyby from a distance of half a million miles. It sort of looked like a fuzzy bowling pin then.

“That was so 2018,” Dr. Stern joked.
Now, much more has come into focus.
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The scientists now say with confidence that Ultima Thule long ago was what they call a “contact binary.”
“Two completely separate objects that are now joined together,” said S. Alan Stern, the principal investigator for the mission. It consists of two almost spherical lobes, one with about three times the volume of the other. To tell them apart, they named the larger one Ultima and the smaller one Thule. “Being scientists, we are not all that creative with words,” Dr. Stern said.
Such contact binaries appear to be common in the outer solar system, but, Dr. Stern said, “This is the first object that we can clearly tell was born this way,”

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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/02/scien...izons.html
[Image: nrTL18e.jpg]
They named it after this magnificent band

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E58UL6YhsuA
The only reason nasa released this is because they didnt want to be upstaged by china.

Too bad it didnt work
(01-03-2019, 11:10 AM)It Wrote: [ -> ]The only reason nasa released this is because they didnt want to be upstaged by china.

Too bad it didnt work

Yeah, the legacy of Bill Clinton and Bernie Schwartz.