After our first good look at the 2014 MU69 in January, New Horizons turned away its clear images of distant space objects. The images have a resolution of approximately 110 feet per pixel, providing one of the sophisticated mission objectives for monitoring an item that received the nickname Ultima Thule.
"Getting these images required us to know exactly where the tiny Ultima and the New Horizons were-momentarily for a moment-when they passed each other at more than 32,000 miles an hour in the faint light of Koiper's belt, a billion miles behind Pluto "- said Alan Stern of the Southwestern Research Institute and Chief Researcher of the New Horizons. "It was much tougher than anything we tried on our flight in 2015."
About a month after its historic New Year's Day, the NASA spacecraft returned its most vivid snapshot of Kuiper's belt. But these new images taken with the help of a range finder (LORRI) provide even more detailed information. Stern noted that some of these observable surface features, "which we see on the surface of Ultima Thule, are not like any item that has ever been investigated before."
These include both areas of "circular terrain", as well as interesting pits, which seems to be the cause of the debate among the team of the New Horizons. John Spencer, deputy research scientist at the Southwest Research Institute, said that mission scientists are divided into whether they are "craters made by shock devices, submerged holes, holes in a rupture, or something completely different"
New Horizons returns all its data about this property, located more than 4 billion miles from the Earth. And there is plenty to learn about the distant world. At the beginning of this month, for example, fascinating images showed that the MU69 particles are much more favorable than scientists expected.
"Although the very nature of the rapid spill in some ways restricts how well we can determine the true form of Ultima Thule, the new results clearly show that Ultima and Thule are much more flat than initially thought and much more flat than expected" Hel Weaver, a scientist at the New Horizons project from Johns Hopkins Laboratory for Applied Physics, says in a statement at that time. "This will undoubtedly motivate new theories of the formation of planets in the early solar system."