NASA revealed on Wednesday the first specific details of the most celestial object manned ever explored, Last Thule, located in the Kuiper belt 6.500 million kilometers away from the Sun., after the New Horizons boat crossed over it.
Prior to this mission, a team led by scientist Alan Stern from the Southwest Research Institute considered Ultima Thule a combination of two different planetary objects. However, a scientist from John Hopkins University, Hal Weaver, said on Wednesday he was an asteroid
"This is quite common among the little celestial bodies of the Solar System," Weaver said at a news conference that received the first signal from New Horizons after the end of the mission. As he pointed out, this form explains another secret of this distant celestial body: its variations in the light.
On the other hand, Stern clarified at the press conference panchromatic pictures more resolution "will not reach roughly by February." The Head of Mission took the opportunity to congratulate the work of all members of the New Horizons team, whose job he described as excellent.
"Tim New Horizon makes it look simple, no, this team has spent three and a half years work hard that this happens. And from what we can see, they got 100% points, "said Stern, who announced that this week's first scientific article about the mission would start writing.
Ultima Thule, who was called by the public in a NASA call to name an object known up to that time as MU69 2014, derives from the notion of Greek origin used by Roman and medieval geographers to mark the site "is out of the known world".
Although the fracture of that rocky asteroid occurred at midnight on January 1, at a distance of about 3,500 kilometers from the facility, the first sign of New Horizon after it had arrived arrived at 10:30 local time (15:30 GMT) that day Deep Space Monitoring Station , located in Madrid.
That's because of that Ultima Thule is 6 hours and 7 light minutes from Earth, as one of the people responsible for this mission explained.
The second goal of this space mission is to determine rotation duration on the small asteroid, with a diameter of barely 30 kilometers.
According to the latest findings, scientists believe that rotation Duration between 15 and 30 hours, lacking more data to confirm this hypothesis.
Asked if New Horizons fulfilled mission expectations, Chief Operating Officer Alice Bowman said it from a navigational point of view, the probe "has done all it has to do".
However, Stern could not confirm this with certainty camera of the device They were "perfectly focused," though he said it would be known in the coming days.
After it became official The New Horizons has successfully completed the lap, NASA's chief, Jim Bridenstine, celebrated that the US space agency, along with its associates in this mission, the Johns Hopkins University and the Southwest Research Institute, "They have come back in history".
Ultima Thule is located in one of the farthest regions of the Solar System, known as the Kuiper Belt, in honor of the astronomer who predicted his existence in the 1950s, Gerard Kuiper.
The New Horizons ship had six months of hibernation by June this year, when it continued its journey to this mysterious celestial object, barely 30 kilometers in diameter.
Scientists and astronomers in charge of this mission hope that information gathered by New Horizons will help better understand the formation of the solar system and how the planets are built.