The new horizons had to fly a billion miles past Pluto to receive a picture of Ultima Tule
The first sharp image of the "big city in the world" of the New Horizons probe was traveling 6.5 billion kilometers to explore was discovered, to NASA's delight.
- The researchers found that Ultima Thule is a red color
- Ultima Thule is the same size as the American city of Washington
- The visit to the New Horizon of the building lasted 13 years
"We could not have been happier," said New Horizons chief researcher Alan Stern.
"Let me say that there is no needle for bowling – it's a snowman, if that's something at all."
The previous picture of a circular ball of dust and ice, occupied by a spacecraft of 500,000 kilometers, was so blurred and grainy Dr. Stern told those who gathered at the press conference that "it's okay to laugh."
In addition to providing a clearer picture of the object, new data returned to Earth from New Horizons reveals important information that indicates its origin and appearance.
It has now been confirmed that Ultima Thule is red in color, "similar to the Mordor Macula region from the great moon of Pluto, Haron," co-researcher Carly Hoyet said.
The team determined its color by combining sharp black and white images with less defined but colorful photography.
The project team used different cameras to photograph its shape and color and combine them later. (YouTube: NASA)
The team also discovered the Ultima Thule region that matches the neck of the snow is one of its brightest parts, suggesting that fine grain can be rolled there due to steep slopes and gravity.
Early exploration of his topography also suggests two lobes – the big one called "Ultima", the little called Tula – gathered so slowly that if two cars collided at the same speed with speed, "they would not even fill in the forms of insurance , "Geography and Geophysics of New Horizons," Jeff Moore said.
"We think that what we see is perhaps the most primitive object that has not yet been seen by any spacecraft and can be a class of objects that are the oldest and most primitive objects that can be seen everywhere in this solar system," said Mr Moore.
"I think we need to think of New Horizons as a time machine, a zero-returning machine that brought us back to the very beginning of the history of the solar system to the point where we can observe the most ancient building blocks of planets."
The project team will continue to publish mission information in the coming days and years.
"Everything we say [today] is just the tip of the iceberg, "said Dr. Stern.
"We have less than 1 percent of the data stored on state-owned New Horizons recorders, already down on the ground."
Dr Stern said that the accomplishments of the spacecraft and the team were "unseen", which essentially chased "the small city of a city in size" in the dark with 51,000 km / h.
"It's just the size of something like Washington, and it's as reflective as garden dirt, and it's lit by a sun that is 1,900 times paler than it is on a sunny day here on Earth," he said.
It is farthest away from the sun that any spacecraft examined a subject.
The new Horizons spent 13 years traveling to the location of Ultima Tule in the heart of the Kuiper belt.
Science and Technology