in NASA New Horizons (New horizons in Spanish) successfully fired on Tuesday Last Thule. a heavenly object far away from what humanity has so far investigated, is located in the Kuiper Belt, about 6,500 million kilometers away from the Sun.
"The New Horizons have been fired by the farthest celestial object that ever visited the aircraft." Congratulations to the team! ", said NASA chief, Jim Bridenstine, on your official Twitter account.
Bridenstine acknowledged that the US space agency, together with its associates in this mission, Johns Hopkins University and Southwest Research Institute, "have come back in history".
Confirmed! @NASANewHorizons he flew to the farthest facility that ever visited the aircraft. Congratulations to the New Horizons team, @JHUAPL and the Southwest Research Institute for re-creating history! pic.twitter.com/t47BOmo7c1
– Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) January 1, 2019
Ultima Thule, who was called by the public in NASA's call to name an object known to that time as MU69 2014, derives from the notion of Greek origin used by Roman and medieval geographers to mark the "outside of the known world".
According to NASA, the New Horizons probe, which already reviewed Pluto in 2015, will take high-resolution photographs of Ultima Thule 72 hours away from 3500 kilometers to recognize its surface and composition and discover whether it has an atmosphere around it or other celestial bodies.
Ultima Thule is located in one of the farthest regions of the Solar System, known as the Kuiper Belt, in honor of the astronomer predicting its existence in the 1950s., Gerard Kuiper.
Scientists and astronomers in charge of this mission hope that the information gathered by New Horizons will help to better understand the formation of the Sun's system and how the planets are built.
NASA reveals the first details about the most heavily explored sky object
Prior to this mission, the team was led by a scientist Alan Stern, from the Southwest Research Institute, he tried the idea that Ultima Thule is a combination of two different planetary objects.
However, a scientist at Johns Hopkins University, Hal WeaverHe convinced it was about it an asteroid with a peanut-like or bolus shape, having seen the latest images of Ultima Thule, still very low resolutions.
"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.
According to Weaver, this form would explain yet another secret of this distant celestial body: its variations of brightness.
Image The first image #UltimaThule! On the left side is the composition of two pictures @NASANewHorizons, which gives the best indication of the size and shape of Ultima Thule (the artist's impression on the right). More photos coming January 2! https://t.co/m9ys0VhmLA pic.twitter.com/qZu0KL8uJB
– APL Johns Hopkins (@JHUAPL) January 1, 2019
For his part, Stern explained at the press conference that panhromatic images of greater resolution "will not reach about 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 lighter, no, this team has spent three and a half years working hard to achieve this and from what we can see, they got 100% points," Stern said. He announced this week start writing the first scientific article about the mission.