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Nasa reveals the secrets of Ultima Thule, the prehistoric space pancake



  Frankentula

NASA / Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University / Southwest Research Institute / ESA

The farthest world we've ever researched, Ultima Thule, is becoming more and more scary ̵

1; but NASA's scientists are beginning to unravel its secrets.

The spacecraft of New Horizons, which runs past the distant, ancient space rock on January 1, about 4 billion miles from Earth, after a 13-year trip to the edge of the Solar System. The original mission of New Horizons was to investigate Pluto, but after an extension, the NASA team and the Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory sent him to study an object much further away from home: a small space rock discovered five years ago

An unusual bi-lobster form of Ultima Thule.


NASA / Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University / Southwest Research Institute
On March 18, NASA held the first press briefing since January 1, and a number of researchers were available to describe the geology, origin, surface and unusual form of the pancake for 2014

New Horizons succeeded in recreating the alien world at its overflight and start sending data back to Earth. As the spacecraft is about 4.1 billion kilometers (approximately 6.6 billion kilometers), all of its important scientific data is back on Earth, but there is already a lot of work to do with it.

"The data we already have about the earth is just a scent," said Alan Stern, principal investigator at the press briefing, "and that really changes our ideas, greatly about how the small bodies of the Kaiper belt, the construction blocks of planets such as Pluto

The name "Ultima Thule", a Latin phrase referring to a distant world, the unusual two-layer rock consists of a flat pan-like partition called "Ultima" and a small circular stone called " Thule. "The research team suspects that these two bodies have not always been imosvarzani, and after orbital slow dance, they eventually agreed to form a small, new whole

slow merger of the two bodies leads to Ultima Thule


Derek Richardson / Julian Markonich / University of Maryland
"What Ultima Thule teaches us is that the formation of binary, which is first formed as a co-orbital pair and then merges, fits into one major class of how our entire solar system is formed," says William McKinn, Associate at Washington University.

And Ultima Thule is a real, ancient relic of our solar system that gives scientists a better idea of ​​how planets and small planetary bodies (known as planetsimiles) are beginning to form.

But how it happened, Ultima Thule is not the only thing that's interesting to the research team.

Although most of the images of Ultima Thule are black and white, the planet is technically "ultra red". According to Carly Haullet, a member of the New Horizons scientific team, a "ultra-red" object has been investigated for the first time, which raises even more questions. "The color image even shows subtle differences in coloring across the surface, and we really want to know why," she said in a press release.

The entire press briefing is available online and includes presentations from a number of New Horizons teams.

Researchers will continue to rely on the data that New Horizons sends back – and they expect to continue to receive the treasure of extraterrestrial information until at least the summer of 2020. The spacecraft itself does not necessarily have to be done, that he gets another mission extension and images, an even farther world, a different opportunity.


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