Ultima Thule Up Close

The most detailed images to date of Ultima Thule—obtained just minutes before New Horizons’ closest approach on New Year’s Day—have a resolution of about 33 m per pixel. Their combination of higher spatial resolution and a favorable viewing angle offer an excellent opportunity for studying the surface of Ultima Thule. The Kupier Belt Object is probably the most primitive body ever observed by a spacecraft.

This  composite picture was processed from nine images taken about 6-1/2 minutes before the closest approach to Ultima Thule using the spacecraft’s Long Range Reconnaissance Imager with exposure times of 25 ms.

Image Credits: NASA / JHU APL / SWRI / NOAO

1 thought on “Ultima Thule Up Close

  1. 1. I’m amazed that the small ball end didn’t just shatter due to the impact that made that rather large crater.
    2. They had to be two separate objects that just stuck together on their surface right? How does that even happen?

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