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An object that is called Ultima Thule has located billion miles past Pluto. The name of this object means “beyond the known world.” Scientists do not know much more about the object, but they have detected it from their observations which are found out a rock in the solar system’s Kuiper belt, the area beyond Neptune.
According to Wikimedia It was discovered by astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope on 26 June 2014. The irregular shaped classical Kuiper belt object is a suspected contact binary or close binary system and measures approximately 30 kilometers (19 miles) in diameter.
So, on January 1, it is expected that the New Horizons spacecraft, the one famous for flying by Pluto, will pass by Ultima Thule to discover this odd rock and try to learn more about the formation of the solar system.
As notes www.vox.com [After New Horizons flew past Pluto in 2015, its mission scientists chose Ultima Thule as its next stop in the Kuiper belt, mainly because New Horizons had the ability to reach it with its remaining fuel].
The uniqueness of the observation is that the Ultima will be the very farthest object in the solar system that humankind has ever explored, and one of the most primitive.
“We expect that Ultima is the most well-preserved sample of a planetary building block ever explored,” Alan Stern, the principal investigator of New Horizons, writes in a blog post. “What will Ultima reveal? No one knows. To me, that is what’s most exciting — this is pure exploration and fundamental science!”
“Over all those years between Apollo 8’s December exploration and ours, NASA has made history by exploring farther and farther,” Stern writes. “As a result we have made Carl Sagan’s prediction that in just a generation or two the planets would be transformed from points of light to real and explored worlds.”
Source: Text, Image credit; www.vox.com
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