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2018-01-02. NASA's New Horizons Mission Reveals Entirely New Kind of World.

posted Jan 2, 2019, 7:53 PM by Alan Gould   [ updated Jan 30, 2019, 8:01 PM ]
By New Horizons Mission. [http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/News-Article.php?page=20190102] For GSS A Changing Cosmos chapter 7. Excerpt: Scientists from NASA's New Horizons mission released the first detailed images of the most distant object ever explored — the Kuiper Belt object nicknamed Ultima Thule. Its remarkable appearance, unlike anything we've seen before, illuminates the processes that built the planets four and a half billion years ago. "This flyby is a historic achievement," said New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. "Never before has any spacecraft team tracked down such a small body at such high speed so far away in the abyss of space. New Horizons has set a new bar for state-of-the-art spacecraft navigation." The new images — taken from as close as 17,000 miles (27,000 kilometers) on approach — revealed Ultima Thule as a "contact binary," consisting of two connected spheres. End to end, the world measures 19 miles (31 kilometers) in length. The team has dubbed the larger sphere "Ultima" (12 miles/19 kilometers across) and the smaller sphere "Thule" (9 miles/14 kilometers across). The team says that the two spheres likely joined as early as 99 percent of the way back to the formation of the solar system, colliding no faster than two cars in a fender-bender....  
See also 2019-01-02. New Horizons reveals a ‘snowman’ at the edge of the solar system. By Paul Voosen, Science Magazine. [https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/01/new-horizons-reveals-snowman-edge-solar-system] and Surviving encounter beyond Pluto, NASA probe begins relaying view of Kuiper belt object [https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/01/surviving-encounter-beyond-pluto-nasa-probe-begins-relaying-view-kuiper-belt-object]

2019-01-03. What We’ve Learned About Ultima Thule From NASA’s New Horizons Mission. By Kenneth Chang, The New York Times. [https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/03/science/ultima-thule-pictures-new-horizons.html]

2019-01-02. NASA Unveils Image of the Most Distant Object Ever Visited. New York Times/ Reuters video  [https://www.nytimes.com/video/science/space/100000006287885/nasa-ultima-thule-images.html

2019-01-04. New Horizons Sends First Looks of 2014 MU69, by Kimberly M. S. Cartier Eos/AGU [https://eos.org/articles/new-horizons-sends-first-looks-of-2014-mu69]. 

2019-01-25. A Sharper Picture of Ultima Thule From NASA’s New Horizons. By Kenneth Chang, The New york Times. [https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/25/science/ultima-thule-photo.html]