Science 

Nasa’s New Horizons: ‘Space snowman’ appears squashed

Image copyright NASA/JHU-APL/SWRI/NOAO Image caption Images taken of Ultima Thule as New Horizons passed behind the object It seems the “space snowman” is more like a “gingerbread man”. Scientists studying the distant object known as Ultima Thule are revising ideas about its shape after examining the latest images downlinked to Earth. The pictures, taken by the New Horizons probe on 1 January, show the apparently bulbous body to be quite flat. This interpretation is evident from data acquired by the Nasa spacecraft as it looked back at icy Ultima Thule…

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Science 

Nasa’s New Horizons: Best image yet of ‘space snowman’ Ultima Thule

Image copyright NASA/JHU-APL/SWRI The New Horizons probe has sent back its best picture yet of the small, icy object Ultima Thule, which it flew past on New Year’s Day. The image was acquired when the Nasa spacecraft was just 6,700km from its target, which scientists think is two bodies lightly fused together – giving the look of a snowman. Surface details are now much clearer. New Horizons‘ data is coming back very slowly, over the next 20 months. This is partly to do with the great distance involved (the separation…

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Nasa’s New Horizons: ‘Snowman’ shape of distant Ultima Thule revealed

Image copyright NASA Image caption The ‘snowman’ rotates at a rate of about 15 hours The ice world known as Ultima Thule has finally been revealed. A new picture returned from Nasa’s New Horizons spacecraft shows the little world to be two objects joined together – to give a look like a “snowman”. The US probe’s images acquired as it approached Ultima hinted at the possibility of a double body, but the first detailed picture from Tuesday’s close flyby confirms it. New Horizons encountered Ultima 6.5 billion km from Earth.…

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