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nprev
This will be where we talk about the data as it arrives over the next 20 months or so.
Roman Tkachenko
Just made it a little smoother wink.gif
Decepticon
Can we expect more images by Friday 11th?
Gladstoner
Which areas of Ultima Thule got the highest resolution coverage?
nprev
Posts concerning the search for a new target after Ultima Thule moved to the KBO Encounters thread. smile.gif
hendric
New Horizons is in solar conjunction, I think new data will be arriving next week

http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/space-...w-horizons.html

https://spacenews.com/new-horizons-complete...f-ultima-thule/
QUOTE
The science team will work with those data this week, then take a break next week when the spacecraft is in solar conjunction, with the sun blocking communications with the spacecraft. The science team will reconvene around Jan. 15, Stern said, after communications resume.
MahFL
QUOTE (Gladstoner @ Jan 7 2019, 08:40 AM) *
Which areas of Ultima Thule got the highest resolution coverage?


They did not release that information. They took one stripe of images as they did the closest flyby. Assuming it was a horizontal shot across the "center" some of Ultima ( the big lobe ), might be imaged, bearing in mind when the load was sent up they did not fully know the shape or spin rate.
john_s
The LORRI field of view in the highest-resolution "CA06" LORRI images is just a bit bigger than the size of the target, so with luck we could get the whole thing. The relatively slow rotation means that we'll cover much the same face as seen in the images already down, though of course from a somewhat different angle.

John
WTW
QUOTE (hendric @ Jan 7 2019, 04:05 PM) *
New Horizons is in solar conjunction, I think new data will be arriving next week


There was one more DSN downlink from NH received right after the last news conference, but that may have been mostly engineering data -- hard to tell.
(DSN Now was being flakey during that - hopefully the DSN itself wasn't, and the download went OK.)
Ron Hobbs
Canberra is listening and talking to New Horizons according to DSN Now.

(Rubs his hands impatiently)
Nafnlaus
QUOTE (Ron Hobbs @ Jan 10 2019, 04:11 AM) *
Canberra is listening and talking to New Horizons according to DSN Now.

(Rubs his hands impatiently)


Finally! Can't wait to get some new data smile.gif
vikingmars
An excellent article was just posted by the NH team about Ultima-Thule :
"Overview of initial results from the reconnaissance flyby of a Kuiper Belt planetesimal: 2014 MU69"
https://arxiv.org/abs/1901.02578

CONGRATULATIONS again to the NH team ftr this incredible feat ! smile.gif
pioneer
Does anyone know when the next press conference will be or if it has been scheduled?
wildespace
QUOTE (vikingmars @ Jan 11 2019, 10:16 AM) *
An excellent article was just posted by the NH team about Ultima-Thule :
"Overview of initial results from the reconnaissance flyby of a Kuiper Belt planetesimal: 2014 MU69"
https://arxiv.org/abs/1901.02578

CONGRATULATIONS again to the NH team ftr this incredible feat ! smile.gif

QUOTE
Little significant color variegation across either lobe has been detected as of this writing

There's a new word I learned today - variegation.

Excited to hear all this information (however preliminary) coming in from the mission. Glad they picked up on the colour variation near the "neck".

Click to view attachment
alex_k
Trying to sharpen
Click to view attachment
fredk
It's hard to know without seeing the raw images how much noise we have in these views. To me they look noisy (and we were told to expect noisy images), so I'm suspicious of the fine, pixel-scale detail. But on the other hand, the abstract cited above refers to the "mottled appearance", and the team should know whether the amplitude of that fine detail is consistent with noise or not. Or maybe by the "mottling" they mean several-pixel-scale detail? It'll be really interesting to see the closer views.

And also interesting to see higher phase angle views, to break the degeneracy between topography and albedo variations...
kenny
The interesting light color at the "neck" might suggest there could be slight movement between the 2 component bodies, and "grinding" of relatively fresh ice in that area...
HSchirmer
QUOTE (kenny @ Jan 13 2019, 11:00 PM) *
The interesting light color at the "neck" might suggest there could be slight movement between the 2 component bodies, and "grinding" of relatively fresh ice in that area...


Anybody know which direction is "up" and which is "down" at the neck of a contact binary like UT?

How did / could that change as the binary spun-down?
JTN
QUOTE (HSchirmer @ Jan 13 2019, 11:29 PM) *
Anybody know which direction "up" and which is "down" at the neck of a contact binary like UT?

This slide from the Jan 2 press conference slides sheds some light on the present situation. (It doesn't give a vector but I assume things roll toward the neck.)
JTN
Tidbit from Alan Stern on Twitter yesterday: "We’re plaiinong an inage release— in 10 days!" (I make that about 23 Jan).

https://twitter.com/AlanStern/status/1084661266159931393
alex_k
An animation about details. Quality of 4:22 LORRI image is lower, but still.
Click to view attachment
Alan Stern
QUOTE (JTN @ Jan 14 2019, 11:01 AM) *
Tidbit from Alan Stern on Twitter yesterday: "We’re plaiinong an inage release— in 10 days!" (I make that about 23 Jan).

https://twitter.com/AlanStern/status/1084661266159931393


Update: Now planning an image release for this week too.

Sorry for the typos above, was walking between flights in Doha; well, actually running between flights!
peikojose
QUOTE (Alan Stern @ Jan 14 2019, 06:26 PM) *
Update: Now planning an image release for this week too.

Sorry for the typos above, was walking between flights in Doha; well, actually running between flights!

Nice!
John Moore
QUOTE (Alan Stern @ Jan 14 2019, 10:26 PM) *
Update: Now planning an image release for this week too.

Sorry for the typos above, was walking between flights in Doha; well, actually running between flights!


Interviewed Alan many years' back...a wonderful experience: walking then, running still today to inspire.
Marcin600
A slightly more elongated and less round shape of UT from a slightly different perspective ? https://twitter.com/hashtag/UltimaThuleFlyby?src=hash
Marcin600
New movie from 500000 km to 28000 km: http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/News-A...p?page=20190115
Øyvind G
QUOTE (Marcin600 @ Jan 16 2019, 01:00 AM) *


From the release:
"...rotation of Ultima Thule in the seven hours between 20:00 UT (3 p.m. ET) on Dec. 31, 2018, and 05:01 UT (12:01 a.m.) on Jan. 1, 2019..."

Isn't that nine hours?
john_s
Oops! Sorry about that.

John
Ian R
Wonderful images! Amazing how a slew of pictures at very moderate resolution can still be pretty insightful. I took one of the GIF animations and made an aligned and 'bouncy' version:

Click to view attachment

Looks as if the lobes are less spherical than they are hamburger shape!
Ian R
My speculation is that the two lobes were never individual objects in the first place, and that the original fast rotation of MU69 -- back when it was newly formed and more prone to deformation -- caused a 'blob' to begin to separate from the main body due to centripetal forces, which in the end weren't enough for the two components to part completely.

Just a stab in the dark from a layperson!
Marcin600
QUOTE (Ian R @ Jan 16 2019, 09:19 AM) *
My speculation is that the two lobes were never individual objects in the first place, and that the original fast rotation of MU69 -- back when it was newly formed and more prone to deformation -- caused a 'blob' to begin to separate from the main body due to centripetal forces, which in the end weren't enough for the two components to part completely.

Just a stab in the dark from a layperson!



I think that this is one of many possibilities. In any case, things seem to be more complicated than they originally seemed
Marcin600
For example, two bodies could be originally separate and flattened independently as a result of rotation. More data from New Horizons is needed.
stevesliva
QUOTE (Marcin600 @ Jan 16 2019, 04:03 AM) *
For example, two bodies could be originally separate and flattened independently as a result of rotation.


Or accretion.

This is definitely real? If I focus on just the neck/isthmus then it does appear real, but I worry it's just an artifact.
pdalek
Ultima Thule looks like a snowman. A big snowman is a good way to think about formation and properties.

Comets have density about that of handmade snowballs. U-T is probably similar.
Calculating gravitation and centrifugal acceleration will show it is gravitationally bound over the entire surface and so was not formed by stretching a sphere.

The escape velocity is about that of a human thrown snowball. Fall velocities would be similar. At such velocity, a small snowball acreating under gravity will splat. For a large falling snowball, self gravitation will keep the ball in shape. Higher impact velocity would change things, but without large nearby planets to shift orbits, this is unlikely.

The compressive strength ordinary packed snow is sufficient to prevent a 19km and a 14km balls from merging to a much more compact space. It is easy to estimate the contact area.

Modelling the gravitational field shows local down is up to about 30 degrees from surface normal near the neck. This is about the angle of repose of lightly packed snow.
Marcin600
As Stevesilva supposes, the slightly flattened shape of Ultima (and Thule?) - if it is not a low resolution artifact - may be the result of the specificity of the accretion process itself - in one plane, a bit like an accretion disc (?)

I think the wonderful New Horizons team is already working on the interpretations.
john_s
QUOTE (Ian R @ Jan 16 2019, 12:19 AM) *
I took one of the GIF animations and made an aligned and 'bouncy' version:

Looks as if the lobes are less spherical than they are hamburger shape!


Hi Ian-

Thanks for that very revealing "de-rotated" animation. We on the science team had been planning to do the same thing, but you beat us to it. When I sent the team a link to your animation, it sparked quite an e-mail storm. UT continues to surprise!

Thanks again,
John
Explorer1
New post from Alan: http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/PI-Per...tive_01_17_2019

In addition to data downlink from MU69, some distant observations of the unchosen flyby target in March, and some extra fuel for post 2020 maneuver to a more distant object.
Roman Tkachenko
I just played around with the sequence

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_HGXKO9kus
alex_k
Looking for surface features. Strong Fourier-based processing performed, details are exaggerated if resolved properly.
05:01:47 (better res) vs 6 stacked 04:04

Focused on Ultima:
Click to view attachment

Focused on Thule:
Click to view attachment
Ian R
QUOTE (john_s @ Jan 17 2019, 12:00 PM) *
Thanks for that very revealing "de-rotated" animation. We on the science team had been planning to do the same thing, but you beat us to it. When I sent the team a link to your animation, it sparked quite an e-mail storm. UT continues to surprise!

Thanks again,
John


Hi John,

That's pretty amazing! Thanks for the feedback: it's an honor to be tangentially involved with the team as new discoveries are being made about UT.

Ian.
alan
What would happen when a body the size of one of UT's lobes was spun up if most of its mass was made up of a bunch of spheres a few km's in diameter instead of many smaller pieces? Would it end up hamburger shaped instead of football shaped as it shifted toward equilibrium?
kenny
Analysis of Ultima Thule comparing its morphology with those of previously-imaged comets....

Forbes Magazine on UT January 21

...by astrophysicist author Ethan Siegel.
john_s
The current best image (a big improvement over the earlier ones, due to lower noise and higher phase angle) has just been posted:

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/News-A...p?page=20190124

John
Phil Stooke
Wow, that is a fantastic image - I have just played with it slightly here by brightening the terminator to show faint features a bit better. Just don't ask me to interpret it! - well, OK, maybe the broader depressions near the terminator of the large lobe look a bit like they are bounded by scalloped scarps retreating due to volatile loss.

Phil

Click to view attachment
Marcin600
An amazing object!!! And it is becoming more and more fascinating. There are really a lot of these small hollows on almost the entire surface. I can not wait for more detailed pictures. Sadly, we'll never see the reverse side...
Gladstoner
This faint white ring is... interesting:

Click to view attachment

So far, it doesn't seem to be associated with topographical features.

I wonder if some Kuiper belt objects will display relic binary-contact collars, i.e. talus rings left over after the binary components separated by some process (impacts, gravitational interactions). I suppose they could be thought of as 'kiss marks'.

Since this ring is near the rotational pole, and rather thin, it probably isn't an example.
Explorer1
Amazing new image! It really does look more like the smaller lobe has massive impact on it (like Phobos' Stickney crater) or Damodar on Mathilde.....
This confirms the closest approach images were captured successfully? Big sigh of relief!

Any idea where exactly the rotation pole is? I'm assuming near the centre of mass, on the right side of the circle Gladstoner added.
abalone
I get the impression that its possibly evidence of been put together like a hailstone accretion and the lines and lumpy appearance might be an artifact of that. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/comm.../94/Granizo.jpg Could also be the reason for the 'hamburger' shape if the individual lobe were slowly rotating during the accretion process before coming together.
hendric
Yeah that's my thought too, kinda like a kid with a snowball that keeps packing more snowballs onto it. Maybe the Thule lobe is just large enough to hold itself together, while the smaller objects just slumped.
Ian R
It's a jaw-dropping image: congratulations to the NH science team. blink.gif

Here's a colorized version, purely for aesthetic purposes:

Click to view attachment
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