The spacecraft that brought The World Eye-popping image Images of Pluto in 2015 has gone the extra mile – or billions of miles – to bring the world detailed photos of Ultra Thule, an object orbiting the sun just beyond the planets.
Ultima Thule is in what is called the Copper Belt, a frozen object ribbon that crosses the outer ring of the solar system, the same area where Pluto (now downgraded to the Dwarf planet status) is located. The ring includes frozen liquids, rocks and comets, as well as dwarf planets.
The object photographed this week was created when two objects – Ultima and Thule – came in contact with some time in the prehistoric past and announcement together, giving it its distinctive snowman appearance.
Aug. Aug., "A Scientific Scientist in the North," said the objects were announcing, rather than exploding, when they ran into one another because they were moving so slowly.
"It is actually two little snowballs that, in the very distant past, kind of tapped together and stuck to make a little snowman," said August. "It is just shaped like a cosmic snowman … if they come together with no real speed, you know, because they are basically snowballs, they just have blown apart."
Ultra Sun is all the orbits of the sun, but the farther away an object is from the sun, the slower orbit. The Earth takes a year to complete its orbit, but ultra-Thule's orbit has been measured for centuries.
"Its orbital period is 290 years," said August. "So it takes a long time. It's in a great wide stretch of place where you have lots of little bits of ice just floating about or spinning around the sun very, very slowly.
By comparison, Plato's orbit is 243 years.
Scientists also confirmed that the object was red with radiation and cold (about -200 ° C) so it was similar.
In August, objects such as the Ultima Thule were the building blocks of our solar system, with comparable objects crashing into each other over billions and billions of years to make the planets. He compared it to building something using Legos.
"Imagine you have a great big bee from Legos and you're going to build planets," he said. "When you've got eight of them built, you've got a bunch of little bits left over all over the floor."
"And that is what Ultra Thule is, one of the few beats living out, very far away from the middle of the play area – which, in this analogy, would be the sun."
And such objects would have changed very little, since the Solar System was established for a year of 4.5 billion years, giving scientists a look at the building blocks of the planets. Bigger picture, August says it feels a lot more of the gaps in our knowledge of the universe and where we came from.
"Every world we visit helps us understand all the worlds of our solar system – and indeed in other solar systems," he said. "If the only people you meet in your life are your immediate family, you would have a very blinkered view of what people are like in general. Every other world we visit is like a new one, and it helps us build our sense of what People are like and give us a better understanding of people or planets or planetoids in general. "
But what about this name, you might be wondering. What is an Ultima Thule? The word & # 39; Thule & # 39; Was used by both ancient Greek and Roman writers and mapmakers to describe a distant place far from the north of their countries. & # 39; ultima & # 39; Means "federated" in Latin. Over Time, ‘Ultima Thule & # 39; Was a metaphorically, a place over the borders of the known world.
The choice of name was criticized in several creations because the German occult movement, which gave the Nazi Party his thoughts on racial superiority, believed that Ultima Thule was an ancient Earth once ruled by a race of Aryan Supers. The Nazis' idea that racist purity and deliberate breathing could recreate the Supermen was born of the myth of Ultima Thule.