The NASA space probe New Horizons has flown over Tuesday the most distant object that humanity has explored so far: Ultima Thule, a celestial body located in the Kuiper belt, about 6,500 million kilometers away from the Sun.
As reported the American newspaper The New York Times, in the John Hopkins laboratory of Applied Physics of Maryland (USA) on New Year's Eve has been lived with all eyes on the space probe, which after midnight on Monday has flown over the celestial body.
Ultima Thule, which was the name chosen by the public in a call from NASA to name the object known up to that time as 2014 MU69, comes from a term of Greek origin used by Roman and medieval geographers to indicate a place "located beyond of the known world. "
Now that the New Horinzons probe is over the furthest place ever explored, you will have to take photographs with the objective of recognizing its surface and its composition. For 72 hours, the probe that inspected Pluto in 2015 will photograph the celestial body to find out if it has an atmosphere or some other body around it.
"Come on, New Horizons!" Exclaimed the scientist at the helm of this NASA mission, Alan Stern. The scientists and astronomers in charge of this mission hope that the information gathered by New Horizons will help to better understand the formation of the Solar System and how the planets were built.
Ultima Thule is located in one of the most remote regions of the Solar System, known as the Kuiper belt, in honor of the astronomer who predicted its existence in the fifties, Gerard Kuiper.
The ship New Horizons was six months of hibernation until June of this year, when it resumed its journey to this mysterious celestial object, barely 30 kilometers in diameter.