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According to Seeker (This article and its images were originally posted on Seeker January 4, 2019 at 08:17AM.)
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research InstituteA special delivery of data from deep in the solar system arrived on Earth this week, as details begin trickling in about a little world known as MU69. The early-stage images show no moons and no definitive craters on the surface, but this could all change in the coming weeks as a stream of information comes through.
NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft made a New Year’s flyby of this snowman-shaped asteroid, which the team nicknamed “Ultima Thule,” a Latin phrase that refers to a distant place beyond known borders. (The International Astronomical Union will formally determine an official name at a later date.)
MU69 is located a vast 44 astronomical units (Earth-sun distances) away from Earth — about two-thirds farther away than Pluto, which the spacecraft flew by 3.5 years ago. The new data from New Horizons is fresh, low-resolution, and only a fraction of the information that is stored on board the spacecraft’s hard drive.
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