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The most detailed images of Ultima Thule -- obtained just minutes before the spacecraft's closest approach at 12:33 a.m. EST on Jan. 1 -- have a resolution of about 110 feet (33 meters) per pixel. Their combination of higher spatial resolution and a favorable viewing geometry offer an unprecedented opportunity to investigate the surface of Ultima Thule, believed to be the most primitive object ever encountered by a spacecraft.
"Bullseye!" said New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). "Getting these images required us to know precisely where both tiny Ultima and New Horizons were — moment by moment – as they passed one another at over 32,000 miles per hour in the dim light of the Kuiper Belt, a billion miles beyond Pluto. This was a much tougher observation than anything we had attempted in our 2015 Pluto flyby.
originally posted by: strongfp
a reply to: LookingAtMars
Ah, I forgot about that. I remember reading that it was a strange shape and it didn't really make sense to a lot of experts.
I wonder where it came from.
originally posted by: strongfpI wonder where it came from.
Ultima and New Horizons ... passed one another at over 32,000 miles per hour in the dim light of the Kuiper Belt, a billion miles beyond Pluto.