The farthest object that our species ever visited, a cosmic rock called 2014 MU69, is less snowing than the scientists previously thought of.
NASA took off its New Horizons probe from the rock called Ultima Thule, four miles from Earth, New Year's Eve.
New horizons flew 2,200 miles from MU69, traveling at a speed of 32,200 mph. Flying allowed scientists to collect pictures and rock information that they hope will help solve some of the long-standing mysteries of the 4.5 billion solar history.
The first image of the probe showed two reddish-colored spherical segments. one over another as a snowman. Subsequent data reveals that the object is overwhelming as a giant sandwich.
But it will take about 20 months for New Horizons to send all the images shot back to Earth, and the scholars' understanding of the rock changes as new perspectives emerge.
The newest sequence of images suggests that instead of two spheres, sections of MU69 (called "lobes") are somewhat flat. The form is relatively unprecedented in the scientific observations of the solar system.
"We've never seen anything like sun orbit," said Alan Stern, chief investigator at Mission New Horizons, in a press release. Based on the new images, the larger lobe (called Ultima) seems closer to a giant pancake.
"We had the impression of Ultima Thule based on the limited number of images returned in the days around the fields, but seeing more data, we changed our point of view" , said Stern
"It will be closer to Reality to say that the shape of Ultima Thule is flatter, like a pancake, but more importantly, the new images create scientific puzzles about how a similar object can even e but is formed.
NASA scientists shared the 3D animation of the shape of the cosmic stone that was created using images that New Horizons captured when leaving MU69 behind. The pictures were taken almost 10 minutes after the probe passed the nearest point to the rock.
Although they are far from the final photos of Ultima Thule, which New The Horizons will send back, they represent the last glimpses of the spacecraft on the rock as it eludes.
This article was originally posted by Business Insider.
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