Queen’s Brian May joins Nasa mission for New Year

New Horizons space probe set to fly by furthest object ever explored

New Horizons space probe set to fly by furthest object ever explored

Its New Horizons vessel will fly past the most distant solar system object ever explored. NASA says Ultima Thule is likely the most primitive planetary object ever explored.

Several gigabytes' worth of imagery and data from the flyby will be stored in New Horizons' solid-state memory banks, and transmitted back to Earth over the course of 20 months.

With New Horizons on autopilot, Mission Control was empty at Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md.

A few black-and-white pictures of Ultima Thule might be available following that official confirmation, but the highly anticipated close-ups won't be ready until Wednesday or Thursday, in color, it is hoped.

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft will flyby the Kuiper Belt object Ultima Thule on New Year's Day of 2019, making the farthest flyby in history.

"The fact that we don't know anything about this makes it the most desirable object possible", said May. Ultima Thule essentially means "beyond Thule", which suggests something that lies beyond what is known.

A solo track recorded by legendary Queen guitarist Brian May - who also holds an advanced degree in astrophysics - will be released just after midnight to accompany a video simulation of the flyby at 12:33 am Tuesday (0533 GMT), as NASA commentators describe the close pass.

May, who has researched dust clouds in the solar system, will be joining Stern and his planetary science team as they receive and analyze data from the New Horizons spacecraft.

Ultima Thule was first spotted in 2014, despite New Horizons being launched in 2006.

Alderweireld’s Contract Extension Includes A Hidden Transfer Clause
The 29-year-old barely played at the back end of last season, despite being fit after a hamstring injury, as Pochettino appeared to freeze him out.

The probe flew by the rock during a mission to gather information about the creation of the solar system.

Ultima Thule was unknown until 2014, eight years after New Horizons departed Earth.

Its destination, Ultima Thule, "is 17,000 times as far away as the "giant leap" of Apollo's lunar missions", he added, recalling that December 1968 marks the 50th anniversary of the first time humans ever explored another world, when USA astronauts orbited the Moon aboard Apollo 8.

NASA's vaunted social media operation, which had fallen silent during the partial government shutdown, has been temporarily restored to cover the event. As New Horizons speeds through space at 9 miles per second, it will take less than a day to turn Ultima Thule back into a speck in the rear view mirror.

The Kuiper Belt is full of small, icy bodies and worlds, and we don't know much about Ultima Thule. It is thought to be potato-shaped and dark-coloured with a touch of red, possibly from being zapped by cosmic rays for eons.

Artist's impression of New Horizons encountering a Pluto-like object in the distant Kuiper Belt.

It is noted that the Ultima Thule, the oldest celestial body photographed by mankind.

"New Horizons will map Ultima Thule, map its surface composition, determine how many moons it has and find out if it has rings or even an atmosphere", said New Horizons principal investigator Dr. Alan Stern, also of Southwest Research Institute. "We'll find out soon enough".

Recommended News

  • Auto  attack injures 8 pedestrians in Tokyo during New Year's festivities

    Auto attack injures 8 pedestrians in Tokyo during New Year's festivities

    Another 19-year-old man was slightly injured after Kusakabe allegedly struck him after getting out of the auto , the police said. The suspect appeared to have planned to set his vehicle on fire, Mainichi newspaper and other Japanese media reported.
    Anderson stuns Nadal, sets up Djokovic final

    Anderson stuns Nadal, sets up Djokovic final

    Djokovic extended his dominance over Anderson, whose only victory in 10 matches against the Serb came a decade ago in Miami. I think we had some nice and exciting rallies". "If you play bad, even if you are 11 or 35 you will not go deep you know.
    Koreas hold symbolic groundbreaking ceremony to link railroads across border

    Koreas hold symbolic groundbreaking ceremony to link railroads across border

    The US has also expressed support for the event through a US-South Korea working-level meeting held last week in Seoul. North Korea has voiced displeasure with the slow progress on projects aimed at building ties between the two sides.
  • Pep Guardiola insists Manchester City's title bid hangs on Liverpool clash

    Pep Guardiola insists Manchester City's title bid hangs on Liverpool clash

    We know we need to defensively get better. 'We play the way that the game tells us to play, ' he added. I know the distance is big - seven points - especially because they are so solid and consistent.
    Nationwide CenturyLink internet outage affects Kansas

    Nationwide CenturyLink internet outage affects Kansas

    Residential customers have also tweeted some harsh words, mostly about the lack of updates and customer service from CenturyLink. The company has not said how many customers lost service, nor what, if anything, they would do to make those customers whole.
    Messi: Ajax pair De Ligt and De Jong could handle Barcelona

    Messi: Ajax pair De Ligt and De Jong could handle Barcelona

    And Messi has claimed that the pair's time at the top of the game in Spain was a positive for football and for fans all over. Cruyff, a former Netherlands global , said Ronaldo - like Messi at Barca - was holding Madrid together.
  • Victory for Serena, but United States  fall to Greece in Hopman Cup

    Victory for Serena, but United States fall to Greece in Hopman Cup

    The 23-time Grand Slam champion had her ankle heavily strapped, but came past the young Greek 7-6 (3), 6-2. Belinda Bencic stormed seven points in the tie-break of the second set to outclass Katie Boulter 6-2, 7-6.
    Lukashenko and Putin to meet once again this year, says television

    Lukashenko and Putin to meet once again this year, says television

    It is extremely hard to predict the glider's trajectory, which essentially leaves any missile defense system off-guard. In Wednesday's test, the weapon was launched from the Dombarovskiy missile base in the southern Ural Mountains.
    Donald Trump visits troops in Iraq

    Donald Trump visits troops in Iraq

    But for the last few months, Trump has indicated that he planned to reverse course and tighten the Defense Department's belt. Troops will receive a 2.6 percent - not 10 percent - pay hike for 2019; they got a 2.4 percent pay hike in 2018.
  • Canadian defendant to stand trial for drug smuggling in China

    Canadian defendant to stand trial for drug smuggling in China

    Meng is out on bail pending an extradition hearing to the United States on charges of violating sanctions against Iran. The relevant governmental departments confirmed with Global Times Schellenberg's identity as a Canadian citizen.
    Tom Brady Intends on Returning in 2019 with the Patriots

    Tom Brady Intends on Returning in 2019 with the Patriots

    A three-time NFL Most Valuable Player, Brady is on record as saying that he'd like to play until he is 45 years old. Normally, we see the rest of the league unable to hang with the overwhelming play of Tom Brady and his dominance.
    Trump Signing MAGA Hats in Iraq May Have Violated Defense Department Rule

    Trump Signing MAGA Hats in Iraq May Have Violated Defense Department Rule

    Qais al-Khazali, the leader of Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq group, expressed the Iraqis' resolve to purge the country of American forces. US President Donald Trump spent around three and a half hours on the ground in Iraq on his first visit to a troubled region.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.