NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft took a series of photographs between 3 p.m. EST (8 p.m. GMT) on December 31, 2018, and 12:01 a.m. EST (5:01 a.m. GMT) on January 1, 2019, that have been later linked collectively to make a film displaying the propeller-like rotation of the Kuiper Belt Object Ultima Thule (also called 2014 MU69). New Horizons had a shut encounter with Ultima Thule at 12:33 a.m. EST (5:33 a.m. GMT) January 1, 2019, closing to a distance of about 2,200 miles (three,500 km) from the thing.
The spacecraft downlinked two excessive-decision pictures of the Kuiper Belt object instantly after the flyby. The images present that Ultima Thule measures 19 miles (31 km) in size and consists of two linked spheres. Also, they present that the item has no rings or satellites bigger than one mile in diameter, and lacks an atmosphere.
The extra distant pictures of Ultima Thule have been despatched dwelling on January 12-14, after per week when New Horizons was too near the Sun for reliable communications. The probe will proceed to transmit photos — together with its closest views of Ultima Thule — and knowledge for the following many months. The New Horizons science crew will use them to assist decide the 3D form of the article, as a way to higher perceive its nature and origin.