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NASA New Horizons to photograph Ultima Thule in historic New Year's flyby

new-horizons-mu69 ultima-thule

An imprint of NASA's New Horizons spacecraft artist again Ultima Thule (2014 MU69), a 1 billion billion Pluto Kuiper Belt object, on January 1, 2019.

NASA / Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory / Southwest Research Institute / Steve Gribben

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is set to investigate unclear worlds as before when it falls 2014 MU69 in & # 39; e New Year's Day.

The craft has gradually made its approach in the last two weeks as Nasasa scientists conducted a series of checks and trajectory corrections to new Horizons at & # 39; to guarantee a straight track to gather as much information as possible about the mysterious object – nickname Ultima Thule – Without any problems in all the bricks that can be found in the outside world of our solar system.

"This last day was probably for us," said Alice Bowman, new horizons mission operation manager at APL, CNET sister website CBS News reported. "We had much closer together these optical navigation measurements, which means that a lot of people are getting up all night."

She also said the spaceship was within 19 miles of his goal. That's about 2,200 miles of the object.


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On December 15, the 12 researchers who reaffirm the New Horizons hazard watch team confirmed that the custom path was secured with New Horizons telescopic Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI). If she's had The months discovered months or rings in the direction of Ultima, NASA would have chosen for a further airport, with New Horizons short-sighting and flying over the object of a much larger distance.

As new Horizons approach, Ultima Thule is getting higher and higher. In short, the spacecraft will curse the mysterious object at a distance of 2,200 kilometers from its surface.

NASA / Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory / Southwest Research Laboratory / Henry Throop

"The team was in complete consensus that the spacecraft should stay on the smarter trajectory, and missionary work honored our recommendation," said Mark Showalter, combat team leader.

As it stands, New Horizons will fly from Ultima Thule from a distance of 3,500 kilometers (about 2,200 kilometers) – its optimal path. To put that in perspective, beware these epic pictures from Pluto? New Horizons cameras capture it like the 12,500 kilometers (about 7,800 kilometers) of the surface of the further plane.

Thus, New Horizons are three times closer to Ultima Thule as Pluto has provided NASA researchers with valuable images and scientific data from a world that we practically do not have.

On December 26, New Horizons entered the Encounter Mode, a type of "safe mode" that was the scientific goal of & # 39; looking at a mission is even done as the spacecraft capabilities. Under normal circumstances, an incorrect traffic from New Horizon may look for help, but if it is now 12 hours, the risk of them doing as space is near them.

Practically, entering Encounter Mode means that the space factory is now on its own. With thousands of instructions loaded into your onboard computers, it starts with & # 39; a plush dance, started 1 billion kilometers to Pluto.

Two days before we left New Horizons to own devices, it still shreds the highest resolution of the further "world life": the dark, pixelated smile shows that Ultima Thule in their midst, 10 million kilometers ( about 6.3 million miles).

First-1x1 detection

New Horizons spots Ultima Thule (just like) in high resolution image of LORRI on December 24th.

NASA / Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory / Southwest Research Institute

Within a week, the small pixel of light in any distance will become a familiar world. We see what it seems, what it is made, how cold it is, its mass and whether it has every month of its own.

New Horizons will be running later in the New Year by flying the famous world that we have ever discovered, with the closest approach taken at 12:33 and Jan. 1. Although US is now in & # 39; Closing a center of a running federal government will allow you to still include Flyby's comments and simulations on & # 39; a New Horizon mission. Data from Flyby are later expected from New Years Day, sometimes after 11:30 ET.

After a year of great spatial news, New Horizons will also put in hopes of 2019 on the right flyby rail too, so I suggest you to & # 39; generate an Interstellar soundtrack on New Year's Eve, try again & wake up & nbsp; & # 39; a new world that we discover.

First publication 26 December 4:23 p.m. PT
Fernij, December 27, 6:35 pm PT: Adds that new Horizons into the Encounter Mode and is on the railroad for his historic aircraft.
Update, December 31, 8:55 pm PT: Adds comments from APL mission operation manager.

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