Most distant space object ever explored resembles reddish snowman

New Horizons Mission Operations Manager Alice Bowman after the team received confirmation from the New Horizons spacecraft that it has completed the flyby of Ultima Thule

NASA scientists on Wednesday released the first pictures of Ultima Thule - sent back 4 billion miles by the New Horizons probe.

The tiny, icy object resembles a snowman in the photo, which is just the first of a whole host of data that the space agency hopes to receive back.

"Studying Ultima Thule is helping us understand how planets form - both those in our own solar system and those orbiting other stars in our galaxy", Moore said. That will change as later images, taken at different angles, are sent back, Moore said.

"This flyby is a historic achievement,"Principal Investigator Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, said in a statement". A NASA spacecraft opened the New Year at the most distant world ever explored, a billion miles beyond Pluto.

There are no obvious signs Ultima Thule has been significantly disturbed since it came together as the solar system formed, the researchers said.

Ultima Thule's unique, lumpy appearance was achieved when two chunks of matter collided at extremely slow speed - perhaps even as slow as as two cars nudging together, the team states. But Stern said that the phrase Ultima Thule is hundreds, if not a thousand, years old, and is apropos because it means "beyond the known universe" in Latin.

Just one day has made a startling difference in how we view this mysterious Kuiper Belt object. The Thule Society, founded in 1918 around this and other occultist beliefs, later became the Nazi Party. As such, scientists still aren't entirely sure how the planets of the Solar System got their start.

In addition to the clip, NASA also shared an artist's rendering, along with a theory about how Ultima Thule could have formed over time, beginning with a rotating cloud of icy bodies. The comment was greeted with applause by New Horizon team members and their supporters.

Ultima Thule is over 40 times farther from the Sun than Earth; this deep in outer space, temperatures clock in around -400 degrees Fahrenheit-and these frigid, Sun-starved conditions can make for fairly pristine preservation.

The mission team has chose to call the larger lobe "Ultima" and the smaller lobe "Thule".

An earlier image of the spinning ball of dust and ice, captured by the spacecraft from about 500,000 kilometres out, was so fuzzy and grainy Dr Stern told those gathered at the press conference it was "OK to laugh".

The selection of Ultima Thule as a next target after New Horizons' July 14, 2015 flyby of Pluto was largely determined by its being one of the more promising candidates that could be reached on its trajectory without a significant - and fuel-consuming - change of course.

Among other things, Ultima Thule has been compared to a giant space turtle, a fat bowling pin and "Kenny from South Park".

Related News:

  • Ben Roethlisberger Issues New Comment On WR Antonio Brown

    Ben Roethlisberger Issues New Comment On WR Antonio Brown

    Antonio Brown (L) has requested a trade after an alleged spat with Steelers teammate Ben Roethlisberger (R). So, I've been real clear at outlining what transpired, the level of communication, things of that nature.
    Fostoria's Kmart closing in March

    Fostoria's Kmart closing in March

    The plan includes keeping 425 stores open and a $1.3 billion financing commitment, the statement said. It then said it would shutter 142 unprofitable stores in the hopes that it could stay in business.
    Nationwide CenturyLink internet outage affects Kansas

    Nationwide CenturyLink internet outage affects Kansas

    The company tweeted Friday morning it had "discovered some additional technical problems" as it worked on restoring service. CenturyLink spokeswoman Debra Peterson said the outage is not related to hacking, She declined further comment.
  • Dow drops 400 points following its worst week in a decade

    Dow drops 400 points following its worst week in a decade

    However, the Fed failed to signal that it was easing off its tighter policy approach as much as markets had expected. Amazon (AMZN ), Facebook (FB), Alphabet (GOOGL ), Netflix (NFLX ) and Apple (AAPL ) all fell about 2%.
    United States  to coordinate troop withdrawal from Syria with Turkey

    United States to coordinate troop withdrawal from Syria with Turkey

    A delegation of the Syrian Democratic Council, the political wing of SDF, arrived in Russian Federation last week for talks. France is a member of the global coalition against IS led by the USA against jihadists in Syria and Iraq.
    Justice 'Recuperating' After Cancer Surgery, Released From Hospital

    Justice 'Recuperating' After Cancer Surgery, Released From Hospital

    Giuseppe Giaccone, an oncologist at Georgetown University's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. The liberal justice was appointed to the court by Bill Clinton in 1993.
  • Fernandinho: Bernardo Silva one of Man City's best

    Fernandinho: Bernardo Silva one of Man City's best

    City was spared from going behind by just 11 millimeters (0.4 inches) of the ball failing to cross the line in the 18th minute. The Reds could have been in front early on, but Sadio Mane's shot rebounded from the post in the first half.
    Saudi king orders major government reshuffle

    Saudi king orders major government reshuffle

    Saudi King Salman issued a royal order on Thursday demanding a cabinet reshuffle, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported. Badr Bin Sultan has been appointed Deputy Emir of Makkah and Eman Al-Mutairi as assistant minister of commerce.
    Prince George and Princess Charlotte break royal tradition on Christmas

    Prince George and Princess Charlotte break royal tradition on Christmas

    The Duchess gushed about becoming a mum for the first time, admitting that she was incredibly excited. Meghan and Harry were all smiles as they walked alongside William and Kate .
  • Russian Federation  detains USA  citizen suspected of spying

    Russian Federation detains USA citizen suspected of spying

    Whelan's, in the past, Russian authorities have arrested foreigners with an eye toward trading prisoners with other countries. Alexander Mikhailov, a retired FSB officer, said the arrest reflected the effectiveness of Russian counterintelligence.
    Man Utd boss Solskjaer: What I can teach Rashford

    Man Utd boss Solskjaer: What I can teach Rashford

    One of the requests that Solskjaer made to his players is that they should improve in possession. The Red Devils will take on Newcastle away from home in the Premier League on Wednesday night.
    Michael Owen reacts to Liverpool FC’s 5-1 win over Arsenal

    Michael Owen reacts to Liverpool FC’s 5-1 win over Arsenal

    After getting themselves ahead, Liverpool then added two more in the first half when Mane and Salah got in on the act. Premier League - Follow the Football match between Liverpool and Arsenal live with Eurosport.


Most liked

Taiwan president defiant after China calls for reunification
Beijing has regularly sent military aircraft and ships to circle the island on drills. Tsai rejected Xi's call and instead urged China to embrace democracy.

Brazil will move embassy to Jerusalem: Netanyahu
As a fringe politician with few alliances, Bolsonaro was one of the few to emerge unscathed from the scandals. An estimated half-million spectators were expected to cheer Bolsonaro in Brasilia as he became president.

Raiders hire Mike Mayock as general manager
That's why it was news with former New York Giants GM Jerry Reese declined an interview request for the Raiders opening. Mayock has plenty of college scouting experience, but he acknowledged he will need help in the day-to-day operations.

China releases detained Canadian teacher Sarah McIver:The Asahi Shimbun
Sarah McIver , an English teacher from Alberta, was arrested by the Chinese authorities over alleged work-permit violations. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has formally demanded the "immediate release" of the two Canadians.

Brother of Slain CA Officer Reacts After Police Arrest the Murderer
A suspect identified from convenience store video before the killing, remains at large and is considered armed and unsafe . The Stanislaus County Sheriff Department has set up a memorial fund for the Singh family where readers can donate.

Confident about election victory: Sheikh Hasina
The opposition said the unrest was stirred up to deter voters, and presiding officers reported a low turnout across the country. The country's Election Commision told a news agency that it is also investigating claims of vote rigging across the nation.

Cavs sign former Warriors guard Patrick McCaw to multi-year deal
A person familiar with the terms told The Associated Press that the Cavs' offer to McCaw was for two years and $6 million. According to ESPN's cap guru Bobby Mark, if the Warriors, back in action Saturday against the Blazers (10 p.m.

SPOTTED: Pelosi Relaxes During Gov't Shutdown at Expensive Hawaii Resort
He's made similar threats in the past without following through, and it is Congress, not the president, that appropriates aid money.

Wellsville Kmart closing in March
Minnesota stores include the three-level location at the Mall of America, which was not originally on the list of stores closing. Sears' creditors have been investigating whether ESL acquired Sears valuable assets through an unfair competitive advantage.

Launch of First GPS III Satellite Begins Modernization of the GPS Constellation
SpaceX was initially scheduled to launch on Tuesday, while Vice President looked on from Kennedy Space Center. The satellite was deployed to its intended orbit approximately one hour and 56 minutes after lift-off.

Shoppers head to South Florida malls for last-minute Christmas gifts
All stores across the nation will be closed on Christmas Day so employees can celebrate with their families. Eating out on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day can be hard , as a lot of places are closed for the holiday.

Erdogan, Trump to 'coordinate' as United States pulls out of Syria
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to dislodge the Kurdish fighters from along its border with Syria. The heightened military activity comes as Ankara and Washington have agreed to coordinate on the US withdrawal.

US government workers unpaid on third day of shutdown
Shutdowns are unpopular, and politicians typically try to shift the blame for running out of funding to the other party. The House and Senate gaveled in for a brief Christmas Eve session Monday only to close up quickly for the holidays.

Donald Trump's border wall blocked by details
The Senate had already passed legislation ensuring that workers will receive back pay, and the House was likely to follow suit. The Democrat-led Senate refused to entertain the House provisions, while the House refused to go forward without them.

Manchester City stunned by Palace, trail Liverpool by four points
Steve Nicol recaps Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's sensational start as Man United manager with a 5-1 win over Cardiff City . It was the first time United had scored five goals since Sir Alex Ferguson's final game in charge in 2013.