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New Horizons takes the sharpest image of Ultima Thule
The new image reveals new details about the object.
The mysterious Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69, nicknamed Ultima Thule, now exists as more than just a blob in space. NASA has captured the sharpest-ever image of the object, which was taken on January 1.
While the scientists already know details about the Ultima Thule, such as its two-part 'pancake' shape, these higher-quality images show the details that weren't visible till date. The new image shows circular pieces of terrain, deep pits and other details that were previously elusive.
The space agency said that its New Horizons got closer to MU69 than it did to Pluto, thanks to 'unprecedented precision' in calculations. Principal Investigator Alan Stern said there was a real chance the camera would have missed the object entirely.
The first image of Ultima Thule was taken earlier this month. The image showed an awkwardly shaped object which provoked some interesting reactions on social media platforms. NASA's New Horizons spacecraft entered the new year with a flyby of this very distant body in our solar system. It is also probably the oldest object visited by a spacecraft.
The image soon became a hot topic and many Twitter users posted a lot of jokes and memes on the image. The reactions also included many photoshopped images of the object. But now we have the images in high resolution, which might put the Twitter jokes to rest.