The most distant object ever visited looks like a peanut.
With the beginning of a New Year, there came a big surprise in the field of science. NASA’s New Horizons Spacecraft flew by a small and icy world named Ultima Thule (pronounced as TOO-lee). Scientists and Engineers celebrated this big achievement at 12:33AM at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland, USA.
This event occurred some 6.5 billion kilometer away from earth. Even when traveling at the speed of light, the message took 6 hours to reach earth from space due to the extent of the distance of the spacecraft from earth. It has taken New Horizons 13 years to travel so far after launching in 2006.
The name Ultima Thule perfectly describes its true meaning “beyond the borders of the world”. Pictures from Ultima Thule will help study the Kuiper belt, a band of frozen material beyond Neptune.
The images being received this week will help scientists reveal the basic geology and structure of Ultima. The images received so far, indicates Ultima to be in the shape of a droplet or peanut.