Pluto's most famous visitor, the New Horizons spacecraft, has woken up after 165 days of hibernation.
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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.
On New Year's Day 2019, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft will zoom past MU69 -- a mysterious Kuiper Belt object located 6.4 billion km from Earth. In anticipation of the upcoming flyby, NASA has just revealed the probe's flight plan, and there's some exciting news: New Horizons is expected to come three times closer to MU69 than it did to Pluto in 2015.
Two years ago, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft flew by Pluto, capturing never-before-seen views of the dwarf planet and its icy heart. Since then, the intrepid spacecraft has been speeding toward a reddish object in the Kuiper Belt known as MU69 (nice). It's set to rendezvous with its next target in less than two years. But new observations from the New Horizons team show that the spacecraft may be in for more than it bargained for.
In about a year and a half from now, the New Horizons Spacecraft will whiz past a distant Kuiper Belt object named 2014 MU69. This rocky relic of the ancient Solar System -- which is located about 6.4 billion kilometres away -- just passed in front of a distant star, resulting in one of the more extraordinary eclipses ever captured by scientists.