2018 has been a year of records made in space exploration. And this year we expect nothing less.
This year started with the exploration of a mysterious object, Ultima Thule which is located at a distance of 4.1 billion miles from the Earth.
New Horizon after their successful fly by past Pluto decided to use Hubble Space Telescope to search for their second rendezvous. And this lead to the discovery of Ultima Thule.
Ultima Thule was discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope in 26 June, 2014 and so was named (486958) 2014 MU69 after the year of its discovery.
It is located in the Kuiper belt, home to the asteroids left frozen from the time of formation of the solar system.
NASA’s spacecraft New Horizons created history in 1st January as it flew past the most distant object ever explored by humanity. This rendezvous took place so far from the Earth that the signal sent from New Horizons took over 6 hours to reach Earth.
A blurry image taken by the New Horizons spacecraft suggests that Ultima Thule looks like of a bowling pin. The image taken is from a day before the flyby.
As it cannot be decided from this blurred image if the object is a binary object or a single one, high-resolution pictures of the object will be sent starting from tomorrow from the New Horizons spacecraft and the mystery of the shape of the object will come to a definitive conclusion.