Join Donate

The Bruce Murray Space Image Library

New Horizons' first sight on Kuiper belt object 2014 MU69

New Horizons' first sight on Kuiper belt object 2014 MU69

Click to view full image


New Horizons' first sight on Kuiper belt object 2014 MU69
On August 16, 2018, New Horizons used its Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) to take 48 photos of the spot in space where navigators hoped to spy 2014 MU69. Each exposure lasted 30 seconds, the longest possible with LORRI. The left image merges those 48 photos. The predicted position of the Kuiper Belt object is at the red crosshair at the center, just above and to the left of a nearby star that is approximately 17 times brighter. The right image is a magnified view of the region in the yellow box, after subtraction of a background star field "template" taken by LORRI in September 2017 before it could detect the object itself. 2014 MU69 is clearly detected in this star-subtracted image and is very close to where scientists predicted. At the time of these observations, 2014 MU69 was 172 million kilometers from the New Horizons spacecraft and 6.5 billion kilometers from the Sun. The star that appears practically on top of 2014 MU69 is 4.56 kiloparsecs away.

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 August 16, 2018

Explore related images: New Horizons, BMSIL, pretty pictures, 486958 Arrokoth (2014 MU69)

Comments & Sharing
More Images
Bill Nye and people
Let's Change the World

Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.

Join Today

Bruce Murray and Carl Sagan
Pretty Pictures

Support the Bruce Murray Space Image Library and help us share the wonders of other worlds.


"We're changing the world. Are you in?"
- CEO Bill Nye

I'm In!