Ultima Thule - 4 Billion Mi. Away.....And Officially Gob Smacked!
Posted 02 January 2019 - 07:22 PM
January 2, 2019 Xichang Satellite Launch Center, 40 miles northwest of Xichang, Sichuan, China –
This New Year is breaking open with America’s New Horizons spacecraft right after Midnight January 1st reaching the furthest object ever explored by a machine from Earth out in the Kuiper Belt. Scientists say that no Earth telescope, including Hubble, has seen the object clearly, but it is thought to be a single, strangely peanut-shaped object — or maybe even two objects orbiting closely together. Appropriately, it is called Ultima Thule, which means a distant place beyond our known world. It’s estimated to be 22 miles tall and 9 miles wide. Its importance to astronomers and cosmologists is that Ultima Thule has probably been in cosmic deep freeze since the beginning of this solar system 4.6 billion years ago. That means it could be a frozen slice unchanged since gases coalesced into matter bodies. Because the primal body is 4 billion years from Earth — that’s a billion miles beyond Pluto! — the weak radio signals will take 20 months to reach waiting scientists at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. The highest-resolution images taken at closest approach are not scheduled to be sent to Earth until February 2019.
Earthfiles.com Jan. 2
2018 Rainfall - 62.65"
High Temp. - 110.03*
Low Temp. - 8.4*