New Horizons made the first pictures showing Ultima Thule. The probe will fly on its way through the Kuiper Belt object, but will find its way to the 2014 MU69 on January 1
Ultima Thule is more than 100 million miles from Earth. Even if New Horizons has nothing to offer from here, the NASA project "New Horizons" proves otherwise.
The New Horizons became the first spaceship to launch a flyby in Pluto in July 2015. Since then, his mission has been extended to explore the exterior of the solar system even more. The probe gave the first glimpse of Ultima Thule on August 16th. The 48 images were transmitted by NASA's Deep Space Network.
Record Breaking Images
About 6 billion kilometers from the planet, the photos serve as the farthest images ever taken. It took the recording of Voyager 1, which took the photographs of the Earth and other neighboring planets from nearly the same distance nearly 28 years ago.
In addition, the Ultima flyby will be the furthest exploration of any part of space. This will eventually break the old record of New Horizons at Pluto in 2015.
2014 MU69 is the official name of Ultima Thule. It is part of a field of ice chunks left over from the formation of planets billions of years ago, called Kuiper belts. The photos show the Ultima Thule surrounded by bright stars that are scattered throughout the landscape.
"It really is like a needle in a haystack." In these first pictures Ultima only appears as a bump on the side of a background star that's about 17 times brighter, but Ultima gets brighter – and easier to see – when the spaceship gets closer comes, "said Hal Weaver, New Horizons Project Scientist and LORRI Principal Investigator at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland  He also said that the photo is filled with bright background stars that make it very difficult to spot weak objects.
The team behind the spacecraft will use the images as a guide to the New Horizons Flying by Ultima Thule. New Horizons is expected to come closer to the icy world on the first day of 2019, at 12:33 ET. This will finally put Ultima Thule in the spotlight for the first time.
According to scientists, it will help them to develop stronger theories about the formation of the solar system as they learn more about the Ultima Thule. What is known about this part of space has the potential to change the view of the functioning of the solar system.
"We have now targeted Ultima for far more than before," said Alan Stern, director of New Horizons
"We have now traveled almost 90 percent of the way from Pluto to Ultima Thule and are making final preparations met for the flyby this winter, "said Alice Bowman, Mission Operations Manager of Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab  See now: 30 gadgets and tech gifts for Father's Day 2018 This dad will think are wheel  Ⓒ 2018 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.