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2014 MU69 (Ultima Thule), first New Horizons images

2014 MU69 (Ultima Thule), first New Horizons images

C042/6428

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Credit

NASA / JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY APPLIED PHYSICS LABORATORY / SOUTHWEST RESEARCH INSTITUTE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY APPLIED PHYSICS LABORATORY / SOUTHWEST RESEARCH INSTITUTE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

MU69 (Ultima Thule), first New Horizons images. This astronomical body is the most distant object visited by human spacecraft, with the flyby of NASA's New Horizons spacecraft taking place on 1 January 2019. It is a Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) and was found to be a contact binary with the two joined bodies 19 and 14 kilometres across respectively. The first colour image of Ultima Thule was taken at a distance of 137,000 kilometres at 04:08 UTC on 1 January 2019. At left is an enhanced colour image taken by the Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC), produced by combining the near infrared, red and blue channels. At centre is an image taken by the Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI). At right, the colour has been overlaid onto the LORRI image to show the colour uniformity of the Ultima (bottom) and Thule (top) lobes.

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