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Sat Feb 9, 2019, 02:23 AM

New Horizons: 2014 MU69 Images Confirm the Kuiper Belt Object's Highly Unusual, Flatter Shape

2014 MU69: the 'snowman' shape of Ultima Thuli has melted away (so to speak) as new imagery from New Horizons' New Years Day flyby of the KBO is downloaded/analyzed.

The images are the 'rear view mirror' shots taken as the spacecraft left its small target behind at 31,000 mph:

...These aren't the last Ultima Thule images New Horizons will send back to Earth in fact, many more are to come -- but they are the final views New Horizons captured of the KBO (officially named 2014 MU69) as it raced away at over 31,000 miles per hour (50,000 kilometers per hour) on Jan. 1. The images were taken nearly 10 minutes after New Horizons crossed its closest approach point.
....
The newly released images also contain important scientific information about the shape of Ultima Thule, which is turning out to be one of the major discoveries from the flyby.

The first close-up images of Ultima Thule with its two distinct and, apparently, spherical segments had observers calling it a "snowman." However, more analysis of approach images and these new departure images have changed that view, in part by revealing an outline of the portion of the KBO that was not illuminated by the Sun, but could be "traced out" as it blocked the view to background stars.

Stringing 14 of these images into a short departure movie, New Horizons scientists can confirm that the two sections or "lobes" of Ultima Thule are not spherical. The larger lobe, nicknamed "Ultima," more closely resembles a giant pancake and the smaller lobe, nicknamed "Thule," is shaped like a dented walnut.

"We had an impression of Ultima Thule based on the limited number of images returned in the days around the flyby, but seeing more data has significantly changed our view," Stern said. "It would be closer to reality to say Ultima Thule's shape is flatter, like a pancake. But more importantly, the new images are creating scientific puzzles about how such an object could even be formed. We've never seen something like this orbiting the Sun."



More: http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/News-Article.php?page=20190208

If you can't see the vids in the tweets, they're also included in the article linked above.

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Reply New Horizons: 2014 MU69 Images Confirm the Kuiper Belt Object's Highly Unusual, Flatter Shape (Original post)
Princess Turandot Feb 2019 OP
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2019 #1
Achilleaze Feb 2019 #2

Response to Princess Turandot (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2019, 04:08 AM

1. It was a Potemkin Snowman! (nt)

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Response to Princess Turandot (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2019, 06:13 AM

2. I for one welcome our new Ultima Thule Overlords

Gotta be an improvement over KGOP republican liars, thieves, and traitors.

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