back to article New Horizons eyeballs Kuiper Belt object Ultima Thule, its next flyby goal

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has peeped its next flyby target: Ultima Thule. Ultima Thule is a small object floating amongst all the comets, asteroids, and icy rocks in the Kuiper Belt. It was discovered in June 2014 by the Hubble Space Telescope, and was given the unexciting official name of (486958) 2014 MU69 before being …

  1. et tu, brute?
    Thumb Up

    Will be so much better than the fireworks on New Year!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not in the UK it won't: It'll be cloudy. Probably raining.

  2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Alien

    "Artist's impression of New Horizons flying towards Ultima Thule"

    If the binary looks like a twin copy-pasted replicas of a stock photograph of a stone, I would start wondering about Aliens and their devious ways.

    Anyway, keep going!!

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: "Artist's impression of New Horizons flying towards Ultima Thule"

      No kidding. It looks like the artist was not much older than 8 years old with his first copy of Photoshop...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Artist's impression of New Horizons flying towards Ultima Thule"

        The relative size of New Horizons (approx 3 cubic metres and Ultima Thule (roughly 30,000m long) in the artist's impression gets me. The picture looks like the space craft is in the background and the rock in the foreground but that makes the space craft bigger than the rock. If the space craft is in the foreground then the shadows would be all wrong...

        (A/C because I sound like a Moon landing conspirator - and I'm meant to be working)

        Edit - I know it is only an artist's impression but I'm bored.

  3. Unep Eurobats
    Megaphone

    'New Horizons has peeped its next target'

    In space, no one can hear you whistle.

  4. Nik 2
    Facepalm

    'Since' - or 'ever'?

    The subtitle says "The snaps are the most distant images taken from the Sun since "Pale Blue Dot" and the text says " It's also the most distant image ever taken from the Sun, breaking the record set by Voyager 1 for its famous "Pale Blue Dot" image of Earth "

    I think it's the latter, but it can't be both.

    1. Jedit
      Headmaster

      "I think it's the latter, but it can't be both."

      It literally has to be both (or neither). Any time a new record is set it is by definition the best performance since the previous record.

    2. Madf1ier

      Re: 'Since' - or 'ever'?

      It can indeed be both, but that would render the 'since' condition redundant. It would also be the most distant image taken since last Christmas, the birth of Christ, and "Friday".

      1. Jedit
        Trollface

        Re: 'Since' - or 'ever'?

        Journalists in this modern fast-paced world have a choice: make the redundancy, or be the redundancy.

    3. Joel 1
      Headmaster

      Re: 'Since' - or 'ever'?

      "The snaps are the most distant images taken from the Sun since "Pale Blue Dot" "

      I think it's neither - the images weren't taken from the Sun, but from the spacecraft New Horizons which is currently a long way from the Sun....

      Oh, you meant "the images taken, most distant from the Sun"... I see

  5. Madf1ier

    Of course it can be both.

    However, this would render the "...since..." condition redundant.

  6. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
    Pint

    We truly live

    in an age of wonders.

  7. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Looking forward to the closer look at Ultima Thule

    We do live in interesting times

  8. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    I propose we call this KBO the Sir David Attenborough

    "[Ultima Thule] was given the unexciting official name of (486958) 2014 MU69 before being renamed in a public contest.

    I love the name Ultima Thule, both for its historical resonance and its sheer syllabic panache. But how did it not end up being called Rocky McRockface? Did they ban that at the outset? Were the Great British public asleep at their phones? And, more importantly, why is El Reg not calling it Rocky McRockface?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: I propose we call this KBO the Sir David Attenborough

      >But how did it not end up being called Rocky McRockface?

      The poll was only conducted among Volvo owners with roof boxes

    2. pɹɐʍoɔ snoɯʎuouɐ

      Re: I propose we call this KBO the Sir David Attenborough

      " But how did it not end up being called Rocky McRockface? Did they ban that at the outset? "

      The Whole Boaty McBoatface debacle still makes me laugh.... fancy trusting anything to the great unwashed to name something and keep it sensible..

      The result from Boaty McBoatface is that these public naming votes put a spoilsport clause in to veto any names they do not feel are suitable...

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: I propose we call this KBO the Sir David Attenborough

        No it was a brilliant response to a patronising government "seekking input" ploy.

  9. FredBloggs61

    Not just Boaty

    Boaty McBoatface - 2016

    Rage Against the Machine - 2009

    Brexit - 2016

    People in the UK seem to have a penchant for voting against authority

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Not just Boaty

      People in the UK seem to have a penchant for voting against authority

      Nothing wrong with that IMHO. I wish more voters were like that. Governments need shaking up now and then.

  10. John Crisp

    Respect

    and lots of it for all the team behind the project.

  11. Vlad

    Uma Thurman?

    Am I the only one who misread the title and saw the name of the Kill Bill actress?

  12. hoola

    Grrr.

    We can send a tea chest that far to hook up with something the size of a small island yet we are incapable of doing simple tasks like filling holes in the road, or making batteries that don't leak gloop everywhere.

    Ah well.......

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