News By/Courtesy: Rajnish Suman | 20 May 2019 23:29pm IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Ultima Thule is located in the Kuiper belt, beyond the Neptune
  • The object is the most distant planetary flyby in history, having a distance of 6.5 billion kilometers from the sun
  • The mission team has found the evidence for methanol, water ice and organic molecules on its surface

The recently published report of NASA about the results of the first Kuiper belt flyby and the details of the formation of the Ultima Thule and its ancient past showed the evidence for a unique mixture of methanol, water ice, and organic molecules on the surface of Ultima Thule. After analyzing the data gathered the mission team discovered something more complex than they expected.  The initial data disclose much more about the object’s development, geology, and composition. Scientists are also investigating a range of surface features on Ultima Thule, such as bright spots and patches, hills and troughs, and craters and pits on Ultima Thule. The largest depression is an 8-kilometer-wide feature nicknamed Maryland crater by the team – which likely formed from an impact. According to the research published the mission team has found the evidence for methanol, water ice and organic molecules on the surface of Ultima Thule, which is different from most of the icy objects discovered till now by the spacecraft. In color and composition, Ultima Thule resembles many other objects found in its area of the Kuiper Belt. Its reddish hue is believed to be caused by modification of the organic materials on its surface. The data transmission from the flyby is to be continued till summer 2020.

Section Editor: Puja Jakhar | 20 May 2019 23:35pm IST


Tags : #NASA #UltimaThule #WaterAtUltimaThule #KuiperBelt #KuiperBeltFlyBy

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