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Featured Pentagon Jackson Matt Gaetz Japan NASA

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Visit at the end of the world

On new year's day reached the Nasa probe, one of the most distant objects in the solar system, the heavenly bodies "2014 MU60" in 6.6 billion kilometres from the earth. It is the so far most distant celestial body, a human artifact out of the vicinity to explore.

The roughly 35-Kilometer-wide object given by the Nasa nicknamed the "Ultima Thule". A mythologically-charged term: Ultima Thule means something like "the last Land", as it was called in ancient times the extreme Northern edge of the world. The Kuiper belt, the orbit of MU69 runs, is something of the outer limit of the solar system. In this Zone beyond Neptune have been discovered so far around 2000 small celestial bodies that rotate in the Dark, their vast orbits around the sun. Presumably, much more of a "Kuiper Belt Objects" (KBO). For a round-the-Ultima Thule needs 293 years.

"sample of a planetary building block,"

Much more is not known about the KBOs. The fly-by of Ultima Thule is supposed to change that, and in addition to data on the chemical composition for the first time, close-UPS of such a celestial body to deliver. Up to 3500 kilometres of New Horizons approaches on 1. January (about 6 o'clock German time) the boulder, which is about three Times closer than the probe, 2014, Pluto walked up to the group. Not only the small Size of Ultima Thule makes the maneuver very complicated. Because of the large distance, it takes six hours to get a Signal from the control center reaches the spacecraft. The Nasa so it can intervene should something go wrong.

It is not only a journey to the end of the solar system, but also at its beginning. Since the formation of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago, Ultima Thule has not changed probably large. Researchers suggest that larger objects such as the dwarf planet Pluto have once formed from such a smaller chunk of the Kuiper belt. "We assume that Ultima is the best-preserved specimen of a planetary building blocks is one that was ever investigated," writes the chief scientist Alan Stern on the Website of Nasa. The pre-flight offer a valuable window into the early days of planet formation.

What exactly find you? "No one knows it. This is what makes it for me the most exciting," says star. At least in the Form of Ultima Thule can have a glimpse of the scientist from afar. Probably the Ultima Thule looks like an elongated potato, a kind of lump of two round objects is conceivable. On 2. January, the first image is likely to reach the earth. For 20 months, the spacecraft then transfers all the data from the flyby was home. If everything goes according to Plan, New Horizons to explore then perhaps other objects in the Kuiper belt. (Editorial Tamedia)

Created: 31.12.2018, at 18:56

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