Kuiper Belt Object Ultima Thule is... Squashed?

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by Yazata, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    5,163
    Images taken by New Horizons as it was moving away suggest that Ultima Thule might not be the two spheres that it originally appeared to be. It might be something more like two circular pancakes fused edge to edge. While the previous shape would be relatively easy to explain, formation wise, the newer shape is more of a head-scratcher.

    JHUAPL says: "We had an impression of Ultima Thule based on the limited number of images returned in the days around the flyby, but seeing more data has significantly changed our view," Stern said. "It would be closer to reality to say Ultima Thule's shape is flatter, like a pancake. But more importantly, the new images are creating scientific puzzles about how such an object could even be formed. We've never seen something like this orbiting the Sun."

    http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/News-Article.php?page=20190208

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    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
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  3. globali Registered Senior Member

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    interesting!
    Its a mystery. I guess since they are small objects, they don't need to have a circular shape necessarily. They are more like random beach stones than planets
    I might be wrong though
    Some galaxies at the edge of the universe also seem to have weird shapes, like linear galaxies like toothpicks. Might be a coincidence.
     
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