Tuesday , September 28 2021

On the eve of the New Horizons flyby, Ultima Thule still retains its secrets – Spaceflight Now



This image was first found in the 2014 MU69 ("Ultima Thule") by the New Horizons spacecraft with the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) highest resolution mode (called "1 × 1"). Each of the three individual images, each with a 0.5 second exposure time, has been merged to produce the video shown here. All three images were accepted on December 24, 2018. Credit: NASA / Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab / Southwest Research Institute

NASA's New Horizons Spacecraft A day before the frozen goose of Ultima Thule, which is about 4.1 billion miles (4.6 billion miles) from the ground, the main data on the size of the city continued until Sunday. the disintegration of the data and images that the untested world of the planet should open the boundaries in the solar system.

Ultima Thule – 2014 MU69 – not more than 30 kilometers long – is billions after the Pluto. It is pink, and scientists have discovered a perfect accuracy for the object found in 2014.

In addition, Ultima Thule's appearance is subject to the imagination of scientists and space enthusiasts. When the dark and white cameras of the New Horizons spacecraft start returning to Earth on Tuesday and Wednesday, the picture is up.

"We do not know anything about MU69," says Alan Stern, chief investigator at the Southwest Research Institute, New Horizons. "In the history of space history, we never went to a goal that we never knew, and we are about to learn a lot about it.

"Today, I can not tell you about five facts," said Stern on a Sunday afternoon. "We know its orbit, we know its color, we know little about its shape and its appearance. We can not even get a rotation. I thought it was 10 weeks ago. "

Scientists knew that Ultima Thule would only reveal secrets in the last days or hours, but the questions were still unanswered, and members of the New Horizons team encouraged their creativity.

Hal Weuver, a New Horizons project scientist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, says: "Our team is doing what we consider to be the case today. the mission and construction of the control center.

However, scientists believe that they will see some details.

Ultima Thule has begun solving the new LORRI Horizons camera, which has still been viewed as an object of light – one pixel in the camera's viewing area. The probe speed is variable to 32,000 miles per hour (14 km per second).

The goal is already about 2 pixels, but it's not enough to handle its shape.

"How fast is it? Several hours, dozens of hours or days? "Said Weaver.

"There are some indications that some may be a quick rotator," said Weaver. "When we get confused, that means it can turn out very fast, but we did not believe it, and we were in the team".

New Horizons scientist Hal Whitey speaks to journalists on Sunday in the Laboratory of Applied Physics at George Hopkins University in Laurel, Maryland. Credit: Stephen Clark / Spaceflight Now

If Ultima Thule turned fast, it was a good news for researchers to look forward to this primitive world. The rapid rotating plane showed a lot of surfaces on the new slopes.

As the Ultima approached Thule, one of the key secrets saw that the New Horizons did not change any light curve or brightness.

Scientists have seen Ultima Thule luminous and luminous, and New Horizons has not seen any change.

"We thought we had come and tested it from mid-September until now, and we thought it was a light curve that would allow us to see the change in the brightness of the Ultima Thule.

"We have been systematically hoping to revert these remarks to a Ultima Thule model, but every time they come back and watch, it's just a matter of time.

"So the rotation can show us that it is very special … It can be anywhere in space – a rotating pole, but it is a unique situation that shows us," says Weaver.

"Thus, it can be a" great "means of ultraviolet radiation," said Ultima Thule, referring to short-term observations of the light-emitting brightness of the Earth's surface, allowing scientists to limit. its shape and size.

Deputy Director of the South West Research Institute, Cathy Olkin, agreed.

"In my opinion, according to the result of the occultation, we have seen a clear definition of its prolonged or double-leaf … I think we do not see this problem," Olkin said.

"I think what we are seeing is that we look at the object on the pole. This is one way to compare that we do not see the light curve on the object. There is no sudden change in time illumination. «

Scientists believe that Ultima Thule is 4.5 billion years old than the solar system. It is a "cold classical" object called an object that has remained in about one orbit. A new window opens for the emergence and development of all global systems in the global system, says John Kalirey.

According to astrophysics specialist Kalirai, "this is a radical breakthrough of science.

According to Uiver, the New Year meeting with the Ultima Thule is a lifelong event for most new horizons – the preparation of a space mission and the time it takes to land on the Kaier belt.

On January 19, 2006, the New Horizons of Cape Canaral began, and on 28 February 2007, he received the gravitational aid of Jupiter, and on July 14, 2015, reached Pluto. He called the Uiver Pluto gate to Cooper's belt. The worlds are far beyond the Neptune orbit.

Pluto is one of the most popular objects in the castle belfry, which is thought to be a short-lived comet.

The Kuiper belt is called the "third zone" in the Solar System outside the Earth's planets (inner zones) and gas giants (middle zone). This vast area contains billions of objects, including comets, curved planets such as Pluto and Ultima Thule, such as Planetums. It was discovered that the substances in this region were frozen in the post-emergence period. Credit: NASA / Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab / Southwest Research Institute

"There is nothing in the books," says Weaver.

"I do not think I'll be alive when the next cool classic Kuiper belt object is encountered, so we're all looking forward to this plane. In this sense, the boundaries of planetary science. As a civilization, we go to that third zone of the Solar System, which has not been opened until the beginning of the 1990s. "

Scientists have taken camp bags, pillows, and even a tent in the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel. The new horizons Ultima Toule – Pluto went to the next goal at a speed.

New York's Mission Operations Manager Alice Bowman said on Friday 3 EST began work on Sunday and helped prepare the "upgrade of knowledge" to get the latest navigation updates and rise to spacecrafts.

Updates have only changed the sequence of videos and data generated within 2 seconds, but require some fixes that will allow the camera and sensors to get the best information when you meet with Ultima Thule once. .

"This last day may be the most intense for us," Bowman said.

"What we need is that we are coming to explore, and we are happy to spend the night if it is needed," he said.

The new horizons have the right to meet Ultima Thule, while Boaman successfully captured the spacecraft at 186,000 miles or 300,000 kilometers after 6 hours 8 minutes on Twitter on Sunday night. in seconds.

In fact, the ultimate navigational update of the images on the board of a spacecraft captured by the Ultima Thule LORRI camera is located at 2200 miles (30 km) from the New Horizons.

Not bad for a mission that lasted about 13 years from the launch pad.

As a result of astroiddy, New Horizons will reach the nearest point of Ultima Thule on Tuesday, New Year's EST (0533 GMT) at 12.33. About four hours later, the spacecraft stopped its 6.9-foot (2.1 m) antenna to rotate the earth.

The 230 meter (70 meter) vessel dishes in NASA's deeper space network in Madrid receive six hours of EST (1529 GMT) signals at 10:29 am. But the best pictures are through Ultima Thule through hundreds of pixels – the Earth is not expected until Tuesday, and will be released on Wednesday afternoon.

The black and white LORRI camera is programmed to take about 1,500 pictures. Other instruments embedded in the new horizons receive color images, measure Ultima Thule content and receive infrared data.

A flyby command line operated by a spacecraft. Scientists and engineers are ready to meet for a long distance between Earth and Ultima Thule.

New horizons contain instructions for downloading glues from any of the last minutes and continuing data collection.

"At this point the navigational power has been effectively completed," said Mark Beuze, a member of the New Horizons team at the Southwest Research Institute. "Here, it is the party time."

The final hits for the new horizons trajectory were completed on December 18, and the plane was unable to immediately rectify the tracks.

When Bui was held between July 2017 and August 2018, he led the team, watching Ultima Thule in a pair of starred occult occasions.

These observations gave scientists an idea of ​​the Ultima Thule format, which, according to the occultism, provided the type of peanut. Some scholars believe that Ultima may be a twin-block of Thule's objects, but Beei has denied this opportunity in August, based on the latest culmination criterion.

"We have to be patient and wait for the pictures to come, and we'll see a lot of pixels," Beaux said.

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @ StephenClark1.


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