Discoveries at solar system’s distant frontier shed light on how planets form
New Horizons finds Ultima Thule has an unexpected, flattened shape
Ultima Thule revealed in new detail with fresh flyby image
A new image captured minutes before NASA’s New Horizons probe zipped by a rocky object in the Kuiper Belt on New Year’s Day shows the dual-lobed world — nicknamed Ultima Thule — is covered with intriguing fractures and a large crater-like depression that could provide clues about the early history of the solar system.
Most distant object ever visited resembles a snowman
The first well-resolved image of the faraway chunk of rock fleetingly visited by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft on New Year’s Day reveals the object — officially named 2014 MU69 but nicknamed Ultima Thule — is made of two lobes scientists say came together in an ancient slow-speed collision just as the solar system’s planets were forming.
Video: The New Horizons team hold news conference after flyby declared a success
New Horizons scientists elated as Ultima Thule’s shape comes into view
A fresh image from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft released Tuesday showed the mission’s distant flyby target a billion miles beyond Pluto — nicknamed Ultima Thule — has an elongated shape like that of a peanut shell or a bowling pin, and the prospect of higher-resolution pictures arriving on Earth later in the day had scientists salivating for more.