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2014 MU69 "Ultima Thule" flyby, For discussion of the encounter as it happens
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:
Attached Image

and anaglyph:
Attached Image
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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.


Attached thumbnail(s)
Attached Image
 


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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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Daniele_bianchin...
post Jan 2 2019, 08:48 PM
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For superstition I did not to see the new images. Now I ask you: how much had you thought you was surprised by Ultima from 1 to 10 and how much you actually were (from 1 to 10)? many Thanks
(I see new image after yours reply ninja.gif I with my hand have covered the images above tongue.gif )
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Toma B
post Jan 2 2019, 08:51 PM
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QUOTE (machi @ Jan 2 2019, 11:20 PM) *
Denoised version with more subtle colors.


If I understand this correctly, that image of MU69 was taken from the distance of 28.000 km, and closest flyby was at 3500 km at its closest.
That means that image taken at closest approach should be about 8 times the resolution of what we are seeing now?

BTW you guys are AWESOME!!!!


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The scientist does not study nature because it is useful; he studies it because he delights in it, and he delights in it because it is beautiful.
Jules H. Poincare

My "Astrophotos" gallery on flickr...
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Webscientist
post Jan 2 2019, 08:55 PM
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7/10 A first for sure!

QUOTE (Daniele_bianchino_Italy @ Jan 2 2019, 09:48 PM) *
For superstition I did not to see the new images. Now I ask you: how much had you thought you was surprised by Ultima from 1 to 10 and how much you actually were (from 1 to 10)? many Thanks
(I see new image after yours reply ���� )

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Tom Tamlyn
post Jan 2 2019, 09:47 PM
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Youtube link to today's press conference.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSHOOFBxRvA
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fredk
post Jan 2 2019, 09:49 PM
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QUOTE (dtolman @ Jan 2 2019, 08:05 PM) *
Wow - so it really was a contact binary - believe that's another first for a probe!

First unambiguous one? There are also 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko and 25143 Itokawa as potential contact binaries.
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xflare
post Jan 2 2019, 10:15 PM
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QUOTE (machi @ Jan 2 2019, 08:20 PM) *
Denoised version with more subtle colors.


Maybe a large crater on the smaller lobe?
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Gladstoner
post Jan 2 2019, 10:16 PM
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Which side was imaged during closest approach?
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Nafnlaus
post Jan 2 2019, 10:24 PM
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QUOTE (fredk @ Jan 2 2019, 08:49 PM) *
First unambiguous one? There are also 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko and 25143 Itokawa as potential contact binaries.


As mentioned in the conference, what's exciting about this is that this is a "primitive" contact binary, whereas bodies like 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko and 25143 Itokawa - if they are contact binaries - are evolved. Ultima Thule could prove key to understanding such bodies - whether they actually are originated as contact binaries, and if so, how they evolved from there to their current forms.
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vikingmars
post Jan 2 2019, 10:24 PM
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QUOTE (xflare @ Jan 2 2019, 11:15 PM) *
Maybe a large crater on the smaller lobe?

I would rather refer to hollows, bumps and wrinkles on such a primitive body like this one, if I may say...
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