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Meet the ‘snowman’ floating in space

Ultima Thule, an icy celestial body, is aptly shaped like a giant snowman, NASA scientists have announced.The first detailed images beamed back from the U.S. agency’s New Horizons mission allowed scientists to confidently determine the body was formed when two spheres, or “lobes,” slowly gravitated towards each other until they stuck together — a major scientific discovery.The New Horizons spacecraft on Tuesday flew past Ultima Thule, which was discovered via telescope in 2014 and is the farthest and potentially oldest cosmic body ever observed by a spacecraft.Before that flyby, the only image scientists had was a blurry one showing Ultima Thule’s oblong shape, resembling something like a bowling pin or a peanut. “That image is so 2018… Meet Ultima Thule!” said lead investigator Alan Stern, doing little to hide his joy as he revealed a new sharper image of the cosmic body, taken at a distance as close as 27,000 km with a resolution of 140 metres per pixel.

Source  : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-life/meet-the-snowman-floating-in-space/article25904716.ece

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