Emily Lakdawalla • Jan 15, 2019
A few new images of MU69
New Horizons is back in action after going quiet for a period of solar conjunction following the 1 January flyby of 2014 MU69 (informally nicknamed "Ultima Thule"). The spacecraft is returning new data, as exemplified by these images, shared this morning in a tweet by principal investigator Alan Stern. The pictures were taken before closest approach and don't add anything much in the way of news about the world, but: new images, woohoo!!!
A few hours later, the mission formally released an approach animation showing about half a rotation of 2014 MU69. I'm laughing about the fact that MU69's pole pointed nearly directly at New Horizons, giving it a near side and a far side. The far side of this little world will be forever mysterious to us.
The images should shortly be available on the New Horizons raw images website; when they are, I'll add them in to the montage below and update this post.
Let's Explore More
Our time to take action for space is now! Give today to have your gift matched up to $75,000.Donate