NASA’s New Horizons is en route to Ultima Thule, a journey that will see the NASA spacecraft whiz past this mysterious Kuiper Belt object on New Year’s Day. But as the probe nears, mission specialists are already having to deal with a rather strange observation—an anomaly in the way Ultima Thule is reflecting incoming light.
Tagged With kuiper belt objects
A team of astronomers has discovered the most extreme trans-Neptunian object in the outer reaches of the Solar System. Dubbed “Farout,” the object is more than 120 times farther from the Sun than Earth is. Excitingly, given preliminary estimates about its size, it could actually be a dwarf planet—but it’s still too small to qualify as the elusive Planet X.
Pluto may not be a planet, but it remains one of the most intriguing objects in the outer Solar System. Its unexpected chemical composition has confounded scientists for years, but a new theory may finally hold the answer. Pluto, according to a pair of Southwest Research Institute scientists, is basically an overgrown comet.
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is now 6.12 billion km from Earth, or around 41 times the distance between the Earth and the Sun, and far beyond the orbit of Neptune. Using its Long Range Reconnaissance Imager, it snapped these images of Kuiper Belt Objects 2012 HZ84 (left) and 2012 HE85 (right) - and they're the furthest images ever taken away from Earth.
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is currently hurtling towards MU69, a Kuiper Belt object located around 1.6 billion km past Pluto. Details of this distant object just keep getting more intriguing. In addition to having a reddish hue and potentially consisting of two self-orbiting objects, MU69 may have a small moon, the latest research suggests. So what we once thought was a single object might actually be three.