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2014 MU69 "Ultima Thule" flyby, For discussion of the encounter as it happens
machi
post Jan 2 2019, 07:29 PM
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Quick and dirty color composite of the highest published resolution image from LORRI colorized by RALPH color.

Congratulations to the New Horizons team for another great flyby!
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nprev
post Jan 2 2019, 07:29 PM
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QUOTE (Nafnlaus @ Jan 2 2019, 12:24 PM) *
Even in the Kuiper Belt, collisions occur. Look at Pluto.

Perhaps sublimation-driven snow could be burying them?


Pluto's in a different class entirely in many ways since it likely had some sort of dynamic interaction with (at least) Neptune in the distant past, the system itself shows abundant evidence of relatively large-scale collisional events, and of course it's got a lot more surface area to take hits. Cold classical KBOs like UT may be considerably less cratered.


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Spock1108
post Jan 2 2019, 07:30 PM
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A first processing between the best image released in black and white and color...
It seems to see a crater in the lower left corner on the lobe Ultima!!

FANTASTIC!

Edit: Image V2
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Nafnlaus
post Jan 2 2019, 07:34 PM
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They just talked about craters, but I didn't quite catch whether he was saying that the low level of cratering should be expected or not....

I guess we'll find out when they get a better crater count.
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vikingmars
post Jan 2 2019, 07:35 PM
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QUOTE (Spock1108 @ Jan 2 2019, 08:30 PM) *
FANTASTIC!


Yes : So primitive too smile.gif
CONGRATULATIONS to the NH team for this incredible feat smile.gif
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dtolman
post Jan 2 2019, 07:42 PM
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QUOTE (Nafnlaus @ Jan 2 2019, 02:34 PM) *
They just talked about craters, but I didn't quite catch whether he was saying that the low level of cratering should be expected or not....


There were two discussions - one basically said that a low rate of cratering is expected in for Ultima Thule considering its location in the Kuiper Belt versus the classic Asteroid Belt objects, and another caveat from Alan Stern that the lighting was such that craters would not be apparent, not that they aren't there - and that will change as they get images that were taken later in the flyby.
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MahFL
post Jan 2 2019, 07:44 PM
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QUOTE (Nafnlaus @ Jan 2 2019, 07:34 PM) *
They just talked about craters, but I didn't quite catch whether he was saying that the low level of cratering should be expected or not....

I guess we'll find out when they get a better crater count.


I think he said the theoretical cratering rate there was generally pretty low, so to see few craters would not be unexpected.
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JRehling
post Jan 2 2019, 07:55 PM
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How much fun would it be to stand at the junction between the two components and push them apart?
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Explorer1
post Jan 2 2019, 07:59 PM
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Yeah, it would be fun... but you might need a pretty big crowbar!

I am reminded of Robert Forward's 'Rocheworld', though clearly much less symmetrical.
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fredk
post Jan 2 2019, 08:00 PM
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Stereo views from NYT1 and 2. Quite noisy, but we are seeing some subtle stereo, especially in the smaller ball (Thule).

Cross-eyed:
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and anaglyph:
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Steve G
post Jan 2 2019, 08:03 PM
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Successful Ultima Thule flyby, OSIRIS-REx enters orbit around Bennu, Chang'e 4 about to land on the lunar farside. Just another ho-hum week in space exploration.
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machi
post Jan 2 2019, 08:20 PM
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Denoised version with more subtle colors.


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stevesliva
post Jan 2 2019, 08:28 PM
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A couple notes from when they discuss this image versus the best to come.

This image was ~50k km range 1hr to closest approach. It is 28k pixels with a resolution of 140m/pixel.
CA06 observation yet to come hopefully delivers 1M pixels at 35m/pixel.

Another presser tomorrow with perhaps better topography. Not sure when CA06 coming.
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Habukaz
post Jan 2 2019, 08:38 PM
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When I look at the highest-resolution picture, I see many arcuate shapes. I bet on many craters visible in the more topography-friendly images.


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Webscientist
post Jan 2 2019, 08:41 PM
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Have there been several contacts between the bodies?
Apparently, at first sight, the relatively circular shape of the contact area implies that the crash trajectory must have been roughly perpendicular to the surface of the bigger rock or object (volume about 3 times higher according to Alan Stern).

QUOTE (machi @ Jan 2 2019, 09:20 PM) *
Denoised version with more subtle colors.

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