Data from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, which passed the Kuiper Belt object Ultima Thule on January the 1st, is yielding scientific discoveries daily. Among the findings made by the mission science team in the past day are:
- Initial data analysis has found no evidence of rings or satellites larger than one mile in diameter orbiting Ultima Thule.
- Data analysis has also not yet found any evidence of an atmosphere.
- The color of Ultima Thule matches the color of similar worlds in the Kuiper Belt, as determined by telescopic measurements.
- The two lobes of Ultima Thule — the first Kuiper Belt contact binary visited — are nearly identical in color. This matches what we know about binary systems which haven’t come into contact with each other, but rather orbit around a shared point of gravity.
No ownership claimed on images – Cedit to APL and NASA
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