Data regarding Ultima Thule, a relic dating back to the era of planet formation, was recently available for the scientists to analyze through the research done by New Horizons spacecraft.
As US space agency publication of the first analysis of this unique space object reveals, mixture of methanol, water ice, and even organic molecules evidence was found by the spacecraft, and a number of features such as bright spots and patches, hills and craters were also in the process of analysis, done by the NASA specialists.
Unique information regarding Ultima Thule
The Maryland crater, as wide as 8 kilometers, is a vast depression found on the surface of this space object. As scientists speculate the evidence point out to the fact that it was formed after an impact. However, this cannot be the case for other smaller, similar pits identified on Ultima Thule, which are believed to be created through the process of materials sliding into its holes, or through the process of once solid alien ice turning into gas and leaving small craters instead.
Regarding its color, scientists suggest that its reddish tone might be due to the alteration of several organic materials that were once found on its surface.
Scientists also claim that thoroughly analyzing this space object might give us valuable insights into how our solar system formed.
Ultima Thule consists of two interconnected lobes
An oddly flat projection (named ‘Ultima’) in connection with a more rounded and smaller lobe (called ‘Thule’) form the actual 36 km long Ultima Thule. How exactly it got its unusual structure and shape is yet to be found out, but NASA states that the answer has something to do with the way it was formed billions of years ago. They also claim that the two lobes were not always connected and that for a long time, they orbited each other.
It is also yet to be found how this process happened precisely, but the New Horizons spacecraft is there to stay until 2020, so further information is expected to be gathered by that time.