APOD: Ultima and Thule (2019 Jan 03)

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APOD: Ultima and Thule (2019 Jan 03)

Post by APOD Robot » Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:12 am

Image Ultima and Thule

Explanation: On January 1 New Horizons encountered the Kuiper Belt object nicknamed Ultima Thule. Some 6.5 billion kilometers from the Sun, Ultima Thule is the most distant world ever explored by a spacecraft from Earth. This historic image, the highest resolution image released so far, was made at a range of about 28,000 kilometers only 30 minutes before the New Horizons closest approach. Likely the result of a gentle collision shortly after the birth of the Solar System, Ultima Thule is revealed to be a contact binary, two connected sphere-like shapes held in contact by mutual gravity. Dubbed separately by the science team Ultima and Thule, the larger lobe Ultima is about 19 kilometers in diameter. Smaller Thule is 14 kilometers across.

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Re: APOD: Ultima and Thule (2019 Jan 03)

Post by Holger Nielsen » Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:36 am

The visit of New Horizons at Ultima Thule (still an unofficial name) to me brings up the question what one should call the objects in the Kuiper Belt. I do not like transneptunian objects (a description, not a name) or qubewanos :shock: .

The Solar System contains planets, dwarf planets and minor planets, and all of these can possess moons. Minor planets traversing interior to the orbit of Jupiter are labeled asteroids, and these may be further subdivided into families according to their orbital or chemical characteristics. Orbiting the Sun in a 1:1 resonance with one of the major planets we have the trojans, and between the orbits of Jupiter and Neptune there are a few centauers.

The latter two groups derive their names from Greek mythology. In classical times the Greeks had a name for a far-off, icy-cold, practically inaccessible place, namely Thule; a trade station in northern Greenland once had this name. In the Solar System there is also a region which is distant, extremely cold and difficult to reach, namely the space outside the orbit of Neptune, populated with many minor planets. I propose to name these thuloids after Thule, giving them a short and yet classical name. One would then no longer have to refer to them as transneptunian objects (a long term) or TNO's (an acronym). The thuloids in the Kuiper-belt also contain families, one of which are the plutoids, objects in a 2:3 resonance with Neptune. The group of icy objects making up the scattered disk is as yet unnamed (not counting SDOs), but scythoids come to mind, named after the Scythians, a martial people with whom the Greeks had a troublesome relationship.

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Re: APOD: Ultima and Thule (2019 Jan 03)

Post by Lasse H » Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:18 pm

The styunning new object shows some similarity with Comet 67P, I think. There is no mention of this in the Explanation.
They differ in size by less than a factor 10, if I am correct, so could they somehow be related objects?

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Re: APOD: Ultima and Thule (2019 Jan 03)

Post by neufer » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:42 pm

Lasse H wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:18 pm

The styunning new object shows some similarity with Comet 67P, I think. There is no mention of this in the Explanation.

They differ in size by less than a factor 10, if I am correct, so could they somehow be related objects?
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Re: APOD: Ultima and Thule (2019 Jan 03)

Post by RocketRon » Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:46 am

We know this is routine these days, and has been for many years, but does anyone think that exploratory craft passing objects so many billions of miles away one day and having pictures available for we public to view the next day is just extraordinary.
Not even Jules Verne anticipated that one ?

Also of interest to marvel at is just how does NASA set the navigation coordinates so accurately, such that years later the exploratory craft and object of interest are soooo close together in space. (Celestial) navigation has come a long way since mankind released pigeons to see if they were close to land. Perhaps NASA could do a doco one day explaining the finer points of this, the calculations must be complex and accurate to sooo many places across such vast distances... ?

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Re: APOD: Ultima and Thule (2019 Jan 03)

Post by JohnD » Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:24 am

After visiting Pluto, New Horizons had fuel on board for some minor course changes. The team begged time on the Hubble to look for potential targets beyond within the limited cone of correction that they could steer the probe towards. Ultima Thule was found and chosen. It was not in the original flight plan, although no doubt the concept was thought through. This is not to lessen in any way the skill and technology that made it possible.

No idea if they can repeat this feat. If they do, they and Holger will need to work hard to come up with a name that is beyond "Ultima"!
John

PS apparently "Thule" is pronounced 'tool'. Why? And I fear that 'tooloids' is just too open to sniggers to catch on!

PPS Lasse, how would you like UT and 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko to be "related"? Comets come from this region of the System, and over cosmic time will have aggregated from many smaller bodies. That the two we have seen are only partly integrated shows how slow is this process, and there may be many other binaries out there.

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Re: APOD: Ultima and Thule (2019 Jan 03)

Post by E Fish » Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:11 pm

I still am fascinated by these discoveries. I never thought that we'd get such a detailed image of Pluto in my lifetime. The books I read when I was a kid literally had a question mark imposed on Pluto because we knew so little about it. The fact that New Horizons could show us so much and then show us even more that wasn't originally in the plan is absolutely amazing.

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Re: APOD: Ultima and Thule (2019 Jan 03)

Post by Ann » Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:01 pm

JohnD wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:24 am
After visiting Pluto, New Horizons had fuel on board for some minor course changes. The team begged time on the Hubble to look for potential targets beyond within the limited cone of correction that they could steer the probe towards. Ultima Thule was found and chosen. It was not in the original flight plan, although no doubt the concept was thought through. This is not to lessen in any way the skill and technology that made it possible.

No idea if they can repeat this feat. If they do, they and Holger will need to work hard to come up with a name that is beyond "Ultima"!
John

PS apparently "Thule" is pronounced 'tool'. Why? And I fear that 'tooloids' is just too open to sniggers to catch on!
In Swedish, "Thule" is pronounced roughly like "too-lee" (the stress is on the first syllable).

"U" is a tricky letter to pronounce in Swedish, however. You can get a few tips here.

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Thames fightin' words

Post by neufer » Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:29 pm

Ann wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:01 pm
JohnD wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:24 am

PS apparently "Thule" is pronounced 'tool'.
In Swedish, "Thule" is pronounced roughly like "too-lee" (the stress is on the first syllable).
Like the 29 June 1613 Globe Theatre fire, the 22 June 1861 Great Fire of Tooley Street
set the south bank of the Thames (THEMZ) on fire:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1861_Tooley_Street_fire wrote:
<<The 1861 Tooley Street fire, also called the Great Fire of Tooley Street, started in Cotton's Wharf on Tooley Street, London, England, on 22 June 1861. The fire was first noticed around 4 p.m., and by 6 p.m., 14 fire engines, including one steam engine, from the London Fire Engine Establishment were at the scene. The London Bridge railway station also caught fire in the blaze. At the time, the fire was described as the worst London fire since the Great Fire of London. In his diary, Arthur Munby described the scene as:
  • "For near a quarter of a mile, the south bank of the Thames was on fire: a long line of what had been warehouses, their roofs and fronts all gone; and the tall ghastly sidewalls, white with heat, standing, or rather tottering, side by side in the midst of a mountainous desert of red & black ruin, which smouldered & steamed here, & there, sent up sheets of savage intolerable flame a hundred feet high."
An 1862 House of Commons report into the fire noted the lack of availability of water when the fire started, as the area did not have a hydraulic pump as other areas such as West India Dock did, and the water company only supplied water to houses in Tooley Street for 90 minutes a day. The fire and insurance premium rises led to the 1865 Metropolitan Fire Brigade Act, which established the London Fire Brigade.>>
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Re: APOD: Ultima and Thule (2019 Jan 03)

Post by Boomer12k » Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:51 pm

This is just outstanding, I think...it has gone so far out there...

Thule has a face I notice...it is like a SNOWMAN... :lol2:

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Re: APOD: Ultima and Thule (2019 Jan 03)

Post by starsurfer » Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:09 pm

This looks like the kinda place Thanos would have his base.

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Re: APOD: Ultima and Thule (2019 Jan 03)

Post by neufer » Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:19 pm


Boomer12k wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:51 pm

This is just outstanding, I think...it has gone so far out there...

Thule has a face I notice...it is like a SNOWMAN... :lol2:
Or is it the Headless-Snowman :?:
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Re: APOD: Ultima and Thule (2019 Jan 03)

Post by De58te » Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:05 pm

@ Ann, I looked up Thule pronunciation and in Europe such as Germany it is pronounced tool ah with soft accent on first syllable. In Sweden it is pronounce tool lehh with accent on both syllables. lehh sounds like hec-k without the ck sound.