Success! New Horizons calls home after Ultima Thule Flyby

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft successfully performed the furthest encounter of an object (Ultima Thule) in our solar system on January 1 at 12:33 a.m. The spacecraft called home after the flyby and reported everything was healthy. It will begin beaming back the science data over the next hours and days. We will post the latest images in the gallery section of the Pluto Safari app.

Just over 24 hours before its closest approach to Kuiper Belt object Ultima Thule, the New Horizons spacecraft has sent back the first images that begin to reveal Ultimas shape. The original images have a pixel size of 6 miles (10 kilometers), not much smaller than Ultimas estimated size of 20 miles (30 kilometers), so Ultima is only about 3 pixels across (left panel). Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI
This sequence of three images, received on Dec. 31, 2018, and taken by the LORRI camera onboard New Horizons at 70 and 85 minutes apart illustrates the rotation of Ultima Thule. Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI
A composite of two images taken by New Horizons high resolution Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), which provides the best indication of Ultima Thules size and shape so far. Preliminary measurements of this Kuiper Belt object suggest it is approximately 20 miles long by 10 miles wide (32 kilometers by 16 kilometers). Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI
An artist impression at right illustrates one possible appearance of Ultima Thule, based on the actual image at left. The direction of Ultimas spin axis is indicated by the arrows. Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI; sketch courtesy of James Tuttle Keane

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