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New Horizons locating 2014 MU69 (Ultima Thule)

New Horizons locating 2014 MU69 (Ultima Thule)

C042/6429

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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

New Horizons locating 2014 MU69 (Ultima Thule). This Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) is the most distant object visited by human spacecraft, with the flyby of NASA's New Horizons spacecraft taking place on 1 January 2019. These images were used to locate MU69 and point the spacecraft's cameras in the right direction. At left is a composite of 48 images from the probe's Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), taken on 16 August 2018. The predicted position of MU69, nicknamed Ultima Thule, is at the centre of the yellow box, indicated by the yellow crosshairs. At right is a magnified star-subtracted view of the yellow box area. Ultima Thule is detected in this image and is very close to where scientists predicted. At the time of these observations, Ultima Thule was 172 million kilometres from the New Horizons, and 6.5 billion kilometres from the Sun.

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