Fuzzy dot against a background of stars.
Source: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
Published: December 6, 2018

A composite image of MU69 taken a month before New Horizon's Jan. 1, 2019 flyby.

MU69 was 4.01 billion miles (6.47 billion kilometers) from the Sun and 24 million miles (38.7 million kilometers) from the New Horizons spacecraft when the images were taken.

Original Caption

Ultima Comes into Clearer View

Release Date: Dec. 4, 2018

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

This composite image of Ultima Thule was taken just 33 hours before the Dec. 2, 2018, course-correction maneuver that fine-tuned New Horizons' trajectory for its New Year's 2019 flyby. At left is the full Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) image (an average of 10 individual 30-second exposures) with a yellow circle centered on the location of Ultima Thule. Unlike the LORRI images taken in August through October 2018, Ultima is now evident among the many background stars even without further processing. Nevertheless, Ultima really stands out after subtracting the background stars; the region within the yellow box has been expanded in the star-subtracted version of the image on the right (many artifacts from the imperfect star subtractions are visible in this difference image).

Ultima was 4.01 billion miles (6.47 billion kilometers) from the Sun and 24 million miles (38.7 million kilometers) from the New Horizons spacecraft when the images were taken.

ENLARGE

You Might Also Like