The far-away 2014 MU69, dubbed Ultima Thule, made a record on New Year’s Day for being the furthest object ever tripped by a spaceship. As it is located in the Kuiper Belt around 4.1 billion miles away from our planet, there is much regarding MU69 that researchers are still studying. Now, the latest pictures have raised even more queries regarding the mystifying body.
So little was acknowledged regarding MU69 before the flyby that the US space agency was uncertain whether it was one body or, indeed, 2 objects revolving around each other. Researchers found its snowman-like formation after New Horizons started transmitting pictures back to Earth. Recently, a video was released by NASA compiled utilizing over a dozen pictures that demonstrated Ultima Thule might, in fact, be much flatter than firstly considered.
The pictures were clicked on January 1, over 5,000 miles further than MU69 after it was zoomed past by the New Horizons. As per NASA, the researchers were capable of deducing its structure by delineating the pieces of these pictures that erase the stars within the background on the plane that wasn’t evidently outlined by the Sun.
The agency stated, one lobe appears like a strangely structured “walnut,” whereas the other side appears more like a “pancake.” In a statement, Alan Stern, the mission Principal Investigator, said, “We had an image of MU69 derived from the limited digit of pictures sent back in the days around the pass-by, but seeing more information has considerably altered our view.”
Likewise, a rare asteroid has been found by scientists that orbit nearer to the Sun than any recognized entity of its kind. A high-tech sky-reviewing camera, the ZTF, or Zwicky Transient Facility, noticed the asteroid on Jan 4, 2019. Dubbed 2019 AQ3, the entity has the shortest “year” of any registered asteroid, having an orbital duration of just 165 Days. Also, it seems to be a strangely huge asteroidal specimen.