Ultima Thule Looks Like a Peanut

AlphaAtlas

[H]ard|Gawd
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In its close encounter with Ultima Thule on New Year's Day, the New Horizons probe successfully snapped some images of the asteroid. It will supposedly take weeks for the bulk of the data to make it to Earth and get processed, which isn't uprising, as bandwidth can't be particularly high billions of miles away, but scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory have already made a preliminary mockup of the object.

Check out the image here.

"New Horizons performed as planned today, conducting the farthest exploration of any world in history - 4 billion miles from the Sun," said Principal Investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. "The data we have look fantastic and we're already learning about Ultima from up close. From here out the data will just get better and better!" Images taken during the spacecraft's approach - which brought New Horizons to within just 2,200 miles (3,500 kilometers) of Ultima at 12:33 a.m. EST - revealed that the Kuiper Belt object may have a shape similar to a bowling pin, spinning end over end, with dimensions of approximately 20 by 10 miles (32 by 16 kilometers). Another possibility is Ultima could be two objects orbiting each other. Flyby data have already solved one of Ultima's mysteries, showing that the Kuiper Belt object is spinning like a propeller with the axis pointing approximately toward New Horizons. This explains why, in earlier images taken before Ultima was resolved, its brightness didn't appear to vary as it rotated. The team has still not determined the rotation period.
 
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TheOne&OnlyZeke

100% Irish
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What ever about the peanut shape....but that big red cylinder with arrows on it is strange as fuck

Crazy how nature do that!

:D
 

sfsuphysics

I don't get it
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Only in the world of multi-billion dollar science are these images taken
rotation.gif
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Considered "successful", that's like me saying I successfully took an image of the inside of my pocket when I accidentally pressed the picture button while stuffing my phone there and out came some blurry dark thing that you really can't see shit about. I mean seriously it's 3-5 pixels in one direction and 8 or so in the other.
 
Joined
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Only in the world of multi-billion dollar science are these images taken
View attachment 132285'

Considered "successful", that's like me saying I successfully took an image of the inside of my pocket when I accidentally pressed the picture button while stuffing my phone there and out came some blurry dark thing that you really can't see shit about. I mean seriously it's 3-5 pixels in one direction and 8 or so in the other.
Meh, it's a function of perspective.
Before that picture, the best they had was a single pixel, so this is an order of magnitude more data.

And New Horizons is built around "observe, store and transmit later" because bandwidth from the edge of the solar system is . . . limited.
So, it was only supposed to send one picture from early approach to prove it didn't crash into something, then start transmitting the actual science.
From what I understand, it will take months to download all the data, from a flyby of an object ~30mi long, where the probe was going 31,500 MPH. A literal "blink and you will miss it" closest approach.
 

notarat

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Mar 28, 2010
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Only in the world of multi-billion dollar science are these images taken
View attachment 132285'

Considered "successful", that's like me saying I successfully took an image of the inside of my pocket when I accidentally pressed the picture button while stuffing my phone there and out came some blurry dark thing that you really can't see shit about. I mean seriously it's 3-5 pixels in one direction and 8 or so in the other.
I wasn't aware that Ultima Thule starred in Japanese Porn...
 

Derangel

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Only in the world of multi-billion dollar science are these images taken
View attachment 132285'

Considered "successful", that's like me saying I successfully took an image of the inside of my pocket when I accidentally pressed the picture button while stuffing my phone there and out came some blurry dark thing that you really can't see shit about. I mean seriously it's 3-5 pixels in one direction and 8 or so in the other.
This is a picture being received over FOUR BILLION MILES FROM EARTH. Were you expecting some 8K image transmitted over the 1kb/s connection? The probe isn't sending a picture from one side of the world to another, its sending data across billions of miles of space at an incredibly slow speed.
 

Xrave

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Only in the world of multi-billion dollar science are these images taken
View attachment 132285'

Considered "successful", that's like me saying I successfully took an image of the inside of my pocket when I accidentally pressed the picture button while stuffing my phone there and out came some blurry dark thing that you really can't see shit about. I mean seriously it's 3-5 pixels in one direction and 8 or so in the other.
The first high res photo is expected to finish transmitting on Jan 6.

Just have to understand this is like downloading porn photos in 1998 on a 14.4kbps modem and watching each pixel load in...except 10 times slower than that.
 

sirmonkey1985

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - July 2010
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The first high res photo is expected to finish transmitting on Jan 6.

Just have to understand this is like downloading porn photos in 1998 on a 14.4kbps modem and watching each pixel load in...except 10 times slower than that.
more like 2800 baud modem and having to load a single web page while it loads 1 letter at a time.. can't wait to see the high res photo's though, should be interesting to see.

some people just don't understand how difficult it is to send data 4 billion+ miles from a satellite that has super limited power capacity.. also i feel people forget how old this satellite is, it was launched in 2006 and the design/construction of it started in 2003. data transmissions from newer satellites are far batter these days.
 

focbde

Gawd
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Only in the world of multi-billion dollar science are these images taken
View attachment 132285'

Considered "successful", that's like me saying I successfully took an image of the inside of my pocket when I accidentally pressed the picture button while stuffing my phone there and out came some blurry dark thing that you really can't see shit about. I mean seriously it's 3-5 pixels in one direction and 8 or so in the other.
Um, you didn't actually read the article did you...
 

Xrave

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'Meet Ultima Thule': 1st Color Photo of New Horizons Target Reveals a Red 'Snowman'

We now know what Ultima Thule looks like, and it's not a bowling pin.
The first resolved photos of Ultima Thule have come in from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, which zoomed past the frigid faraway object just after midnight yesterday (Jan. 1). The historic imagery reveals that the 21-mile-long (33 kilometers) Ultima is a "contact binary" composed of two roughly spherical lobes.

Photos taken by New Horizons over the previous week or so had suggested that these two lobes are connected by a relatively narrow neck. But the new imagery shows they're glommed tightly together, dashing earlier analogies.

"That bowling pin is gone," New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in Boulder, Colorado, said during a news conference today (Jan. 2). "It's a snowman, if it's anything at all."


Full Size
The first color image of Ultima Thule, taken at a distance of 85,000 miles (137,000 kilometers) at 4:08 Universal Time on January 1, 2019, highlights its reddish surface. At left is an enhanced color image taken by the Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC), produced by combining the near infrared, red and blue channels. The center image taken by the Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) has a higher spatial resolution than MVIC by approximately a factor of five. At right, the color has been overlaid onto the LORRI image to show the color uniformity of the Ultima and Thule lobes. Note the reduced red coloring at the neck of the object.
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

The two lobes — dubbed, appropriately enough, "Ultima" (the larger lobe) and "Thule" — are red, their icy surface material likely discolored by deep-space radiation, mission team members said. Similar processes are responsible for the reddish hue of much of Pluto's surface, as well as the northern reaches of that dwarf planet's largest moon, Charon (which apparently got this reddish material from Pluto).

Ultima and Thule were once separate, free-flying objects; they coalesced long ago, just after the solar system's birth, mission team members said. This union was not violent; the two bodies came together at about walking speed, in a meetup more akin to a spacecraft docking than to a collision, said Jeff Moore of NASA's Ames Research Center, the leader of New Horizons' geology and geophysics team.

Countless objects like Ultima Thule — which is officially known as 2014 MU69 — eventually built up our solar system's planets. But that didn't happen with Ultima Thule, which has remained pristine for eons in a cosmic deep-freeze, more than 4 billion miles (6.4 billion km) from the sun.


Full Size
The surface features of Kuiper Belt object Ultima Thule (2014 MU69) are coming into focus in these images taken by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft during its historic flyby on Jan. 1, 2019. These images, released Jan. 2, were taken a day earlier from a distance of 18,000 miles (28,000 kilometers) with a scale of 730 feet (140 meters) per pixels.
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute


That's why New Horizons team members were so keen to fly by the object, and why they're so excited by the early science returns from the epic New Year's Day encounter.

"We think what we're looking at it is perhaps the most primitive object that has yet been seen by any spacecraft, and may represent a class of objects which are the oldest and most primitive objects that can be seen anywhere in the present solar system," Moore said during today's news conference.

The new imagery, dramatic though it may be, is just the tip of the Ultima Thule iceberg. The photos unveiled by the New Horizons team today were taken before closest approach, from distances of about 85,000 miles (137,000 km) and 18,000 miles (28,000 km).

At the peak of the encounter, New Horizons got within a mere 2,200 miles (3,500 km) of Ultima Thule. So, prepared to be wowed by higher-resolution photos in the coming days and weeks.

"It's just going to get better and better," Stern said.

The $700 million New Horizons mission launched in January 2006, tasked with performing the first-ever flyby of Pluto. The probe aced this objective in July 2015, showing the dwarf planet to be a world of surprisingly complex and varied landscapes.

The Ultima Thule encounter — the most-distant planetary flyby in history — is the centerpiece of New Horizons' extended mission, which runs through 2021. The spacecraft has enough power and fuel left to potentially perform a flyby of yet another distant object, if NASA ends up approving another mission extension, Stern said.
 

Megaslug

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If this thing is a space peanut, I fear the space elephants.
Remember, the entire world rides on the backs of the space elephants. They just have to convince the giant space turtle to head towards the peanuts.
 

ThatITGuy

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May 5, 2017
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So when is this next Ultima game, "Ultima Thule", being released? Hope it doesn't have any micro-transactions!

....exits stage left
 

pendragon1

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So when is this next Ultima game, "Ultima Thule", being released? Hope it doesn't have any micro-transactions!

....exits stage left
I honestly thought this thread was going to be that, hadnt heard of this thing until this thread.
 
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