scientists hope data the probe’s findings about the formation of planets. Nasa celebrated the flight of the probe on the edge of the solar system, with numerous school children in the Johns Hopkins research centre for Applied physics in Maryland. Some of the children were dressed up as spacemen. They were celebrating under confetti rain, as the probe approached the surface of Ultima Thule as close as possible – at a distance of more than 3500 kilometres.
Nasa is expected for Tuesday afternoon with the first Signal from the spacecraft to the flyby. A real-time Video was not possible, because it will take more than six hours, until a Signal from earth reaches the spacecraft. Six more hours are added for the Transmission of the response.
“This night, none of us will forget,” said Queen guitarist Brian May, who has a degree in astrophysics and, more recently, with a new Song, the Nasa probe “New Horizons” tribute has been paid. Ultima Thule is unique because it is a relict from the first days of the solar system and the answers to the origin of other planets could provide.
Ultima Thule was discovered in 2014 with the help of the Hubble space telescope. Researchers do not yet know how Ultima Thule looks like – whether there are craters or the surface is rather smooth, if it consists of only one object or several.
Nasa released on Monday a pixelated and blurry image, this was taken from a distance of just under two million kilometres. This fascinated researchers because it seems to show a rather long drawn-out space of the object, and not a round.
The probe “New Horizons” should be your only a few seconds long flyby of Ultima Thule around 900 images. These clearer images are expected to arrive in the following three days. “Now it is only a matter of time when the data arrive,” said researcher John Spencer from the Southwest Research Institute. “New Horizons” had already delivered in 2015 spectacular photos of the dwarf planet Pluto.
Hal Weaver from the Johns Hopkins research center, according to the mankind knew until the ‘ 90s, nothing of the existence of the Kuiper belt in the outer space. “We have finally reached the edge of the solar system – the things that were there from the beginning, and hardly to have changed, as we believe. We’ll find out.”