NASA Finally Names Most Distant Object Ever Visited

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NASA has christened a new snowman-shaped object, which is situated roughly four billion miles away from the Earth. NASA announced that the snowman-shaped space object will be named Arrokoth, which means 'sky' in the Powhatan / Algonquian language. The space object is easily the most distant object ever visited and spotted by a spacecraft.

NASA Snowman-Shaped Object Gets New Name
 

NASA Snowman-Shaped Object Gets New Name

NASA began analyzing the snowman-shaped object since earlier this year after the New Horizons flew by. NASA officials had named it as MU69. The name Arrokoth was chosen by a team of scientists operating in the New Horizons, based in Maryland. This was the region where Powhatan people lived before and a large population still lives today.

NASA says it consulted with the Powhatan tribal elders for the name. After christening the distant object, Lori Glaze, director of NASA's Planetary Science division made an official statement. "Bestowing the name Arrokoth signifies the strength and endurance of the indigenous Algonquian people of the Chesapeake region," she said.

The snowman-shaped Arrokoth is so far away, it is in a distant region of the Solar System called the Kuiper Belt. The object was first discovered in 2014 and the first understanding of the object began in 2017. NASA and other space enthusiasts got even more curious after the New Horizons spacecraft flew by it earlier this year.

NASA Snowman-Shaped Object Arrokoth
 

NASA Snowman-Shaped Object Arrokoth

The images released by NASA and analysis reveal that the Arrokoth is flatter than what it was first anticipated. The space agency says that the data is still being analyzed from the mission. Marc Buie, one of the researchers on the Arrokoth discovery team says that the data has provided clues about the formation of planets. Arrokoth may even help understand cosmic origins, he said.

The new name Arrokoth has received many praises. Before the new name, the snowman-shaped object was called MU69. There was also nicknamed as Ultima Thule, meaning ‘beyond the limits of the known world'. The name dates back to ancient Rome and was also used by the Nazi party. The nickname attracted a lot of negative attention for NASA, which has subdued now.

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