MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Animation of the New Horizons spacecraft passing the Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) 2014 MU69. New Horizons is expected to arrive at this rocky body around 1st January 2019. New Horizons was launched in January 2006 to study Pluto, which was classified as a planet at the time. It passed Pluto in July 2015, and it was decided to aim it towards a suitable KBO. MU69 was discovered in June 2014 during a hunt by the Hubble Space Telescope for a new target for New Horizons. It is thought to be a classical KBO, with a composition of rock and frozen ices. Spectroscopic analysis has revealed it has a reddish colour, similar to Pluto. Some observations have indicated that it may be two bodies in a close orbit, as seen here.
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