NASA's New Horizons team scientists have created a 3D image of Ultima Thule by combining images of the object from different angles.
9. March 2019
NASA's New Horizons team scientists have created the most detailed 3D image of Ultima Thule by taking pictures of the Kuiper belt combined an object (KBO) taken from the spacecraft's Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) from different angles.
The combination of high-resolution images from different angles leads to a so-called "binocular effect", which allows seeing an object in three dimensions.
The processed images used to create the 3D view were taken by LORRI from a distance of 2800 kilometers. , with a resolution of 130 meters per pixel at 12:01 EST (05:01 GMT) on January 1, 2019 and at a distance of 6600 kilometers, with a resolution of 110 feet (33 meters) per pixel, at 12: 26h EST (05:26 GMT) on this day.
Although the closer images have a higher resolution than the more distant ones, their quality is lower because they were shot with much shorter exposure times. However, this does not affect the quality of the combined 3D image, which, when viewed with 3D glasses, provides the most accurate view of the surface features and actual shape of the KBO.
"These views give a clearer picture of the overall shape of Ultima Thule, including the flattened shape of the large lobe and the shape of individual topographical regions, such as the" neck "connecting the two lobes, the large depression on the smaller lobe and hills and valleys on the bigger lobe, "said New Horizons senior investor Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) of Boulder, Colorado.
Ultima Thule is four billion miles (six billion kilometers) from Earth Detailed images give scientists valuable insights into the KBO many years.
"We've been looking forward to this high-quality stereo view for a long time, and now we can use this rich, three-dimensional view to understand how Ultima Thule is unique Form, "said John Spencer, New Horizons Deputy Project Scientist n SwRI.
The return of all flyby data will play a total of 20 months.
Laurel Kornfeld is an amateur astronomer and freelance writer from Highland Park, New Jersey who likes to write about astronomy and planetology. She studied journalism at Rutgers University's Douglass College and earned a Graduate Certificate of Science from Swinburne University's Astronomy Online Program. Her writings have been published online in The Atlantic, the guest blog section of Astronomy Magazine, the UK Space Conference, the 2009 IAU General Assembly, the Space Reporter, and the newsletters from various astronomy clubs. She is a member of Amateur Astronomers, Inc., based in Cranford, New Jersey, and was particularly interested in the outer solar system. In 2008 she gave a brief presentation on the Great Planet debate that took place in 2008 at the Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University in Laurel, MD. 19659020]