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KBO encounters
Holder of the Tw...
post Mar 13 2018, 10:12 PM
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The mission team (and the voting public) have chosen a (temporary?) name for dear little 2014 MU69.

Nickname for Ultimate Flyby Target

Announcement at the Mission Site
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Alan Stern
post Jun 5 2018, 05:52 PM
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Hibernation has concluded. New Horizons is awake for the Ultima Thule encounter at the end of the year!

See: http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/News-A...p?page=20180605


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Tom Dahl
post Jun 6 2018, 02:01 AM
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Fantastic status about New Horizons. Best of luck to the mission team on the upcoming encounter.
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dolphin
post Jun 6 2018, 03:38 AM
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Good stuff.

Praying for a successful flyby! Six months to go!
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Alan Stern
post Jun 6 2018, 11:55 AM
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QUOTE (dolphin @ Jun 6 2018, 04:38 AM) *
Good stuff.

Praying for a successful flyby! Six months to go!


Seven, but who's counting? :-)
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HSchirmer
post Jun 7 2018, 04:26 AM
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QUOTE (Alan Stern @ Jun 5 2018, 06:52 PM) *
Hibernation has concluded... awake for the Ultima Thule encounter


You should get George RR Martin to record that as New Horizon's voicemail announcement...

- Hmm, on second thought, Jason Momoa or Emilia Clarke would be even better...
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Alan Stern
post Aug 1 2018, 11:56 AM
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As of today, this little flyby of ours with Ultima Thule is just 5 months away--GO NEW HORIZONS!


Attached Image

Attached thumbnail(s)
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James S.
post Aug 1 2018, 07:56 PM
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QUOTE (Alan Stern @ Aug 1 2018, 05:56 AM) *
As of today, this little flyby of ours with Ultima Thule is just 5 months away--GO NEW HORIZONS!


Attached Image

Wow, down to five months already. Can't wait for this. Thank you so much for all you've done, Mr. Stern.

James Sontag


--------------------
Axes Grind and Maces Clash!
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FOV
post Aug 4 2018, 04:16 PM
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New Horizons Team Reports Initial Success in Observing Ultima Thule (Senegal and Colombia):

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/News-A...p?page=20180804
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FOV
post Aug 4 2018, 08:26 PM
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From Cathy Olkin's twitter feed:

https://twitter.com/colkin/status/1025497966684123137
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Greg Hullender
post Aug 6 2018, 06:18 PM
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What will the best resolution of Ultima Thule be? How many pixels across? How many meters per pixel?
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john_s
post Aug 6 2018, 06:58 PM
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If we fly the nominal trajectory, the best possible resolution is about 32 meters per pixel, but that's not guaranteed (it requires very precise pointing of our narrow-angle LORRI camera), and those images will by necessity be somewhat underexposed and smeared. The best high-quality, high-probability, images on the nominal trajectory, with the wide-angle MVIC camera, will be about 130 meters per pixel. MU69/Ultima is about 30 km across, so our best images could be anywhere between 900 and 230 pixels across.

John

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Greg Hullender
post Aug 7 2018, 03:26 PM
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Thanks! How many useful images do you think you'll get?
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alan
post Aug 8 2018, 07:40 PM
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Great Expectations: Plans and Predictions for New Horizons Encounter with Kuiper Belt Object 2014 MU69 ('Ultima Thule')

QUOTE
In this letter we begin with a brief overview of cold classical KBOs, of which Ultima is a prime example. We give a short preview of our encounter plans. We note what is currently known about Ultima from earth-based observations. We then review our expectations and capabilities to evaluate Ultima's composition, surface geology, structure, near space environment, small moons, rings, and the search for activity.


https://arxiv.org/abs/1808.02118
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Alan Stern
post Aug 8 2018, 08:35 PM
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This may also be of interest:

The New Horizons Kuiper Belt Extended Mission
S.A. Stern, H.A. Weaver, J.R. Spencer, H.A. Elliott, the New Horizons Team
(Submitted on 21 Jun 2018)

The central objective of the New Horizons prime mission was to make the first exploration of Pluto and its system of moons. Following that, New Horizons has been approved for its first extended mission, which has the objectives of extensively studying the Kuiper Belt environment, observing numerous Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) and Centaurs in unique ways, and making the first close flyby of the KBO 486958 2014 MU69. This review summarizes the objectives and plans for this approved mission extension, and briefly looks forward to potential objectives for subsequent extended missions by New Horizons.

Space Science Reviews, in press.

The full article is here: https://arxiv.org/abs/1806.08393

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