Skip to comments.New Horizons Spots Its Next Flyby Target: Kuiper Belt Object 2014 MU69
Posted on 09/01/2018 9:48:48 AM PDT by ETL
MU69 is a relatively small Kuiper Belt object. It is estimated to have a diameter of 30 miles (48 km) thats more than 10 times larger and 1,000 times more massive than typical comets, but only about 0.5 to 1% of the size of the dwarf planet Pluto.
This object was discovered in June 2014 by astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
Also known as PT1 and 1110113Y, and nicknamed Ultima Thule, MU69 orbits the Sun once every 293 years at a distance of more than 4 billion miles (6.5 billion km) from Earth.
The MU69 flyby will be the first-ever close-up exploration of a small Kuiper Belt object and the farthest exploration of any planetary body in history, shattering the record New Horizons itself set at Pluto in July 2015 by about one billion miles (1.6 billion km).
New Horizons mission scientists were thrilled that the spacecrafts Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) was able to see the small, dim object while still more than 100 million miles (161 million km) away, and against a dense background of stars.
Taken August 16 and transmitted home through NASAs Deep Space Network over the following days, the set of 48 images marked the teams first attempt to find MU69 with New Horizons own cameras.
The image field is extremely rich with background stars, which makes it difficult to detect faint objects, said New Horizons project scientist and LORRI principal investigator Dr. Hal Weaver, a researcher at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.
(Excerpt) Read more at sci-news.com ...
Artists impression of New Horizons encountering a Pluto-like object in the distant Kuiper Belt.
Image credit: NASA / JHUAPL / SwRI / Alex Parker.
When 2014 MU69 was where it currently is in its last orbit Isaac Newton was an old man in his 70s with just two years to live. Benjamin Franklin was 19. He's working in London as an assistant to a printer named John Watts. Unbeknownst to him, he's just lost his girl. He'll be OK.
Things happen slowly in the Kuiper Belt
Lol! Interesting way to look at it. I do something similar when looking at stars that I know the apprx distances to.
Is that picture from when they are doing the 6 billion mile oil change?
I wonder if Newton and Franklin ever met up at the Hellfire Club?
Thanks ETL. X-Planets and APoD ping.
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Franklin says no in his autobiography. Someone was supposed to set up a meeting with Newton but like most of what happened on his first trip to England the deal fell through. He was 18 when he went to England and 19 when he came home. Newton probably didn’t think it was worth his time to meet with a printer’s assistant from the colonies.
That thing is really moving
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