If you're something like me, it's probably a bit disappointed when we saw the first images of the Kuiper MU69 belt. Of course, we could make a snowman, but it also looked like a fired shot with a smartphone in a moving car.
Well, this is not very far away, since the New Horizons ship broke its photos thousands of miles away as it passed at speeds of 31,500 miles per hour. But we could not get images immediately, as it takes six hours to signal the approximate 4 billion miles of the ship on Earth and there is a lot of data to convey. But the scientists behind the mission have presented the newest and clearest photos of the object.
New Horizons launched in 2006 with Pluto as its first goal. After re-dropping photos and tons of data into the most famous Kuiper belt object, the team saw their eyes on the next rock that the probe would find, the object of 31.7 kilometers (19.7 miles) formally called (486958) 2014 MU69, nicknamed Ultima Thule. This past flight was quite fanfarró this past Day of the Years.
The newest photo comes from 12:26 a.m. EST (5:26 a.m. UK time) on January 1, seven minutes before the nearest Approach to New Horizon. It shows the structure of two lobes of the object, a deep depression in the smallest lobe, dark and light characteristics, and a bright white color that joins the two lobes. It is not clear if depression is an impact crater or other geological process. Scientists are also not sure what is causing the color difference.
New Horizons continues to send data to MU69, which we hope to reveal more about its composition and its formation, and how it has achieved a strange and similar way to a snowman. Meanwhile, you can still see the raw files here.
Featured image: NASA