Now that New Horizons has zipped past Pluto, it’s main mission is to gradually transmit back all the data it gathered during the flyby. We’ve already learned some amazing things from the mission, and we’re certain to learn more as the rest of the data reaches us. But not content with just one flyby, the New Horizons team has another target in their sights.
The target they’ve chosen is known as 2014 MU69. It’s about 35 km across, and is part of the Kuiper belt, which is an icy outer region of objects similar to the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars. The encounter will give us an opportunity to see a Kuiper belt object up close, so we should learn a lot form a type of solar system body we currently know very little about.
If all goes as planned, New Horizons should make its flyby of MU69 in January 2019.
“If all goes as planet”? Did somebody have mixed feelings about the 2006 decision? 😉
Another question since I am already writing: were the podcasts discontinued? I really enjoyed them and there hasn’t been one for two weeks now. Just wondering…
Anyway, please continue your great work writing this blog. I love reading it!
Thanks for catching that. To your question, no the podcast has not been discontinued. It went on a break in the because everyone flees campus before things start up again. There will be a new episode up on Saturday, and there should be weekly episodes again after that.
That is great to hear, thank you for your answer! I am looking forward to the next podcast!
Here’s an animation I made of New Horizon’s trajectory out to MU69.