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Finding the shape of 2014 MU69 from occultations

Finding the shape of 2014 MU69 from occultations

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NASA / JHUAPL / SwRI / James Tuttle Keane

Finding the shape of 2014 MU69 from occultations
On three occasions in June and July 2017, New Horizons mission team members attempted to track a small, distant Kuiper Belt object, 2014 MU69, as it passed in front of a star – an event known as an occultation. The colored lines mark the path of the star as seen from different telescopes on each day; the blank spaces on those lines indicate the few seconds when MU69 blocked the light from the star. Scientists are using these observations to craft a picture of MU69 and any companion bodies. This diagram was drawn before the discovery of a few bugs in the astrometry software. Fixing those bugs and improvements in Hubble image reduction brought the main body of MU69 closer to its astrometry-predicted position and brought the single SOFIA "blip" closer to the main body.

Most NASA images are in the public domain. Reuse of this image is governed by NASA's image use policy.

Original image data dated on or about December 12, 2017

Explore related images: New Horizons, 486958 Arrokoth (2014 MU69), explaining science

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