The team of the mission New Horizons of the NASA published the results of the first investigations realized of the most distant object never explored in the space, Ultima Thule.
When analyzing the data collected during the first flyby, which took place on January 1, 2019, the scientists realized that the composition, development and geology of this object is more complex than expected.
Since, evidence was found of a unique mixture of methanol, water ice and organic molecules on the surface of Ultima Thule.
The team published the results and scientific interpretations in the journal Science. “We are looking for well-preserved remnants of the ancient past,” said New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colorado.
“There is no doubt that the discoveries made about Ultima Thule will promote theories about the formation of the solar system,” Stern said. Ultima Thule is very different from most frozen objects previously explored by space capsules.
This mysterious object, which is located in Kuipe’s belt in space, is characterized by two spherical bodies that probably fused, in a “soft” way, during the formation of the Solar System.
The most distant object ever explored in space is 31 kilometers long from one end to the other. The largest sphere is called Ultima and the smallest Thule.
The way in which the two spheres got their unusual shape is a mystery. However, it is probably related to the way they were formed billions of years ago. This was explained in an official statement by the New Horizons mission.
The New Horizons spacecraft is currently 6.6 billion kilometers from Earth, operating. The data transmission will continue until the end of the summer of the year 2020.
Source: NG en Espanol