Press Trust of India 20. May 2019 12:03:11 IST
NASA has found evidence of a unique blend of methanol, water ice and organic molecules on the surface of Ultima Thule – The US Space Agency has the first profile of Ultima Thule publishes – an ancient relic from the era of planet formation the complex space object.
Analyzing only the first records collected during the New Year's flyby of the Kuiper Belt object 201
Researchers are also exploring a range of surface features on Ultima Thule, including bright spots and patches, hills and valleys, and craters and pits on Ultima Thule.
The largest sink is an eight-kilometer-wide feature that the team described as Maryland Crater – probably created by impact.
Some smaller pits on the Kuiper Belt object
In terms of color and composition, Ultima Thule resembles many other objects found in its area, the Kuiper Belt. It is believed that its reddish hue is caused by the modification of the organic materials on its surface.
According to research published in the journal Science, the team found evidence of methanol, water ice, and organic molecules on the surface of Ultima Thule – a mixture that differs greatly from most icy objects previously were explored by spacecraft.
"We are studying the well-preserved remains of the ancient past," said Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colorado.
"There is no doubt that the discoveries of Ultima Thule will advance the theories of the formation of the solar system," said Stern, Principal Investigator of the New Horizons Mission.
Ultima Thule is a contact binary with two distinctly shaped lobes, NASA said.
Ultima Thule is about 36 kilometers long and consists of a large, strangely flat lobe. – Nicknamed "Ultima" – associated with a smaller, slightly rounder lobe – at a crossroads "Thule" – .
How the two lobes came to their conclusion The unusual shape is an unanticipated puzzle that is probably related to how they formed billions of years ago, NASA said in a statement.
The lobes were probably once circled until a process brought them together to what scientists have proven to be "gentle."
For this to happen, much of the binary's orbital impulse must have dissipated so that the However, scientists do not yet know whether this is due to aerodynamic forces from the gas in the old solar nebula or not Ultima and Thule ejected other lobes that had formed with t to dissipate energy and reduce their orbit Ultima and Thule suggest that the two lobes must have merged before the merger, meaning that the same sides were always facing each other when they were circling around the same point.
The data transmission from the flyby will continue and continue until will last until late summer 2020. In the meantime, New Horizons continues to make new observations of additional objects of the Kuiper belt that it passes in the distance.
The spaceship New Horizons is now 6.6 billion kilometers from Earth and works normally. At almost 53,000 kilometers per hour, it speeds deeper into the Kuiper Belt.
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