back to article Crispest image yet of Ultima Thule arrives on Earth, but grab a coffee while the rest downloads

The New Horizons spacecraft has continued its dribble of data back to Earth with a fresh image of Ultima Thule. The image was taken during New Horizon's 1 January 2019 flyby of Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69 when the spacecraft was 4,200 miles away, seven minutes before the closest approach. Taken with the Multicolour Visible …

  1. Chris G Silver badge

    Hyper fast connection

    Well, it is compared to the Movistar broadband contract I just ended.

    It also seems to work continuously which is more than I can say anything Movistar.

  2. Thoguht Silver badge

    Alice Bowman?

    Any relation to Dave?

    1. Paul Herber

      Re: Alice Bowman?

      and does he live next door?

      1. MyffyW Silver badge

        Re: Alice Bowman?

        Dave, Dave, who the feck is Dave?

        [with apologies to the HAL 9000]

  3. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    T-t-t-toolay?

    I don't think tho. It will alwayth be Ultima Thule to me. With a th.

    1. STOP_FORTH
      Headmaster

      Re: T-t-t-toolay?

      If this one is Ultima Thule what are they going to call the next object they are hoping to get permission/budget to photograph?

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: T-t-t-toolay?

        If this one is Ultima Thule what are they going to call the next object

        I seem to remember the Culture had a GCU called Ultimate Ship the Second.

      2. Simon Harris Silver badge

        Re: T-t-t-toolay?

        The next one will become the new Ultima Thule.

        The current one will be renamed Penultima Thule.

        1. Mike Moyle Silver badge

          Re: T-t-t-toolay?

          Later to be known as Antepenultimate Thule.

          ...Then, possibly Preantepenultimate Thule.

    2. EBG

      Agree

      The Greek origin starting with "theta" seems clear, as that's always "th". Dunno why some decided it's "t" ?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I remember getting a replacement plugin ROM to double the speed of my US Robotics modem (to 128k I think). I think it's still in a box somewhere. Those were the days!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sorry that should have been 28800kbs up from 14400kbs. I was like a kid with a new toy!

      1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

        "Sorry that should have been 28800kbs up from 14400kbs."

        14.4kbps to 28.8kbps, I think. Only out by a factor of 8000.

  5. Corwin_X

    When real men and women knew the AT command set off by heart! ;-)

    1. Andy Landy
    2. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

      2400 Supra modem and $700+ CompuServe bills are what I remember most from those days. Promoting me to SysOp with a free flag did wonders for my budget!

      1. Flywheel Silver badge

        I managed to blag an £800 9600 baud modem from my employer as I ran a BBS (allegedly for them, but actually not so much). I knew it was a serious piece of kit because it was made of metal.. Ah, the speeeeeeeed!!

    3. MyffyW Silver badge

      I do recall typing ATDT made me feel like an extra from a LucasFilms movie.

  6. Steve Douglas

    Look very hard!

    When it’s over sixty billion kilometres away and transmits with a power roughly equivalent to the light bulb in a fridge it’s absolutely amazing that we can even get any data from it at all :-)

    1. Corwin_X

      Re: Look very hard!

      I think we're still getting data from at least one of the Voyagers? And they've left the solar system! Elon and Co will have to go a long way to match 70's engineering for sheer stamina.

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: Look very hard!

        Also remember those Voyagers are using valve amplifiers.

        Yes, OK I am talking TWT here for the final RF amplification and not a pail of KT88s in ultra-linear configuration.

        1. Cuddles Silver badge

          Re: Look very hard!

          "Also remember those Voyagers are using valve amplifiers."

          I didn't even know they played guitar!

  7. ma1010 Silver badge
    Coat

    Good Lord! What were they thinking?

    Maybe next time NASA will have the good sense to use fiber optics.

    Yes, I'm going. Mine's the one with the FDDI card in the pocket.

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: Good Lord! What were they thinking?

      That's all very well until the solar system grinds to a halt, tangled in a big ball of optic fibre.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Good Lord! What were they thinking?

        At least that will give the Cosmic Kitten something to play with.

  8. Jay Lenovo Silver badge
    Trollface

    Checked with the FCC...

    With their new rules, this still might be considered a high-speed connection.

  9. Johnny Canuck

    Silly

    They should just "torrent" it instead.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Silly

      But I see there is only 1 seeder, should wait until there are a few more.

      1. Just A Quick Comment

        Re: Silly

        ET torrent home...

  10. RM Myers
    Thumb Up

    The rubber ducky comparisons are right on.

    It really does look like my kids rubber ducky - if only it turns out to be yellow!

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: The rubber ducky comparisons are right on.

      Space scientists seem to be making a habit of finding things that look like rubber ducks.

      Is there something we should be told?

      1. VinceH Silver badge
        Alien

        Re: The rubber ducky comparisons are right on.

        That what we are seeing are really fossils of giant rubber-duck like creatures that once thrived in the coldness of space itself? And that life on Earth therefore might have come from bacteria in rubber-duck poop that somehow fell to the surface?

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Alien

          Re: The rubber ducky comparisons are right on.

          Well I for one welcome our fossilised pooping rubber duck overlords!!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The rubber ducky comparisons are right on.

            I for one decry your tedious, borrowed jokes...

            1. Jimmy2Cows

              Re: The rubber ducky comparisons are right on.

              Well, I for one decry your anonimised cowardice.

        2. Ragarath

          Re: The rubber ducky comparisons are right on.

          @VinceH

          I was more thinking that the universe might just be a giant bathtub.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
            Windows

            Re: The rubber ducky comparisons are right on.

            "I was more thinking that the universe might just be a giant bathtub."

            Ah! That explains the swirly galaxies! Plugholes.

            Have I got time for one more bath?

            1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              Re: The rubber ducky comparisons are right on.

              Only if it's ebony & conical.

          2. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

            Re: The rubber ducky comparisons are right on.

            Comets are bath bombs! Gas clouds are Matey. It all makes sense..

      2. phuzz Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: The rubber ducky comparisons are right on.

        Jokes aside, it does provide us with some interesting new data about how asteroids and comets in our solar system have formed.

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: The rubber ducky comparisons are right on.

      It really does look like my kids rubber ducky - if only it turns out to be yellow!

      Run that picture through Instagram

  11. bazza Silver badge
    Pint

    Good Framing?

    It looks like their pointing of New Horizons was correct, this photo has UT nicely centred. Hugely impressive accomplishment! Much kudos and beer owed by us all!

    1. aje21

      Re: Good Framing?

      I assume that the image we see was cropped to have UT in the centre - from that far out my guess is that the original image would have been mostly star field...

      1. 2+2=5 Silver badge

        Re: Good Framing?

        On the BBC's "The Sky At Night" TV programme covering the Ultima Thule flyby, the mission person interviewed said that the aiming was so accurate the first detailed images received were only one pixel out from where they were expected to be. So the image could be what was actually taken.[1]

        (And if it was cropped, then the cropping was done by the spacecraft to save bandwidth.)

        Either way, still impressive.

        [1] Bar contrast, colour enhancement etc

  12. Kevin Maciunas

    Amazing and seriously worth celebrating..

    As someone who since retirement is working on micro satellites that transmit with 200mW.... Getting ANY signal back from that distance is just utterly impressive. "The right stuff" indeed. Undersells. Hugely. Pause and consider the r^2 factor when r is O(60 billion km).

    BeerDebt++;

    /Kevin

  13. bexley

    2Kbps

    Thats what I get on my three mobile with "UNLIMITED" bandwidth in my area.

    If that is the best that a 4G provider can manage over a distance of a few hundred meters from the transmitter / rx then i'd say 2Kbps from a space ship is pretty good.

  14. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921

    Is there anything that shape entering Uranus?

    1. Ragarath

      No things that shape usually leave u..... you get what I mean.

  15. Trev 2

    Beam me up Scottie...?

    Anyone else see a rough model of Starship Enterprise in the pic, possibly made out of clay which someone forgot to fire / harden? How far have our TV signals reached?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Beam me up Scottie...?

      About 92 lightyears. Star Trek will be at about 54 lightyears.

  16. John Geek

    for some silly reason I keep wanting to call it Thulsa Doom. Musta read too much pulp scifi/fantasy as a kid.

  17. bill 27

    WOW!

    So I'm watching the old TV show Firefly and this picture pops up...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WOW!

      Duly noted

    2. Gio Ciampa

      Re: WOW!

      I was thinking more Starbug

  18. Rudolph Hucker the Third

    It looks like Mr Blobby. After he was violently ejected from Noel Edmonds' House Party.

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