Latest in Gear

Image credit: Joel Kowsky/NASA via AP

New Horizons probe sends first signal from Ultima Thule

It's the farthest flyby in human history.
808 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Joel Kowsky/NASA via AP

NASA now has proof that its New Horizons probe completed its record-setting flyby of the Kuiper Belt object Ultima Thule. The mission team confirmed the flypast at 10:31AM Eastern Time after receiving telemetry data indicating that the spacecraft was "healthy." It technically flew past Ultima Thule at about 12:33AM , but the combination of data collection and the six-hour signal travel time left the New Horizons crew waiting until much later to receive the A-OK from their pride and joy.

Scientific data won't arrive until sometime around 200 UTC on January 2nd (9PM ET on January 1st). You'll have to wait a while for an up-close snapshot, then.

The confirmation isn't just a relief for the New Horizons team. This marks the farthest-ever flyby in human history -- at about 4 billion miles from the Sun, Ultima Thule makes Pluto seem like a next-door neighbor by comparison. It also promises a raft of potential scientific insights, including clues to the formation of dwarf planets. Some of those discoveries may take a long time, but they'll be worthwhile if they shed light on the Solar System and the cosmos at large.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
808 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Russia reportedly breached encrypted FBI comms in 2010

Russia reportedly breached encrypted FBI comms in 2010

View
Elon Musk insists 'pedo guy' tweet wasn’t serious accusation

Elon Musk insists 'pedo guy' tweet wasn’t serious accusation

View
Nintendo's SNES-style Switch controllers are now available

Nintendo's SNES-style Switch controllers are now available

View
Mazda will show off its first EV at the Tokyo Motor Show

Mazda will show off its first EV at the Tokyo Motor Show

View
US Senators ask the FCC to review licenses with China-owned telecoms

US Senators ask the FCC to review licenses with China-owned telecoms

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr