NASA’s New Horizons Discovers New World Beyond Pluto – Counsel & Heal

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NASA's New Horizons Discovers New World Beyond Pluto

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft which is exploring the outer space deeper and deeper has found a new world beyond Pluto. New Horizons that crossed the solar system last summer had sent incredible photos of Pluto on its way to Kuiper Belt.

While New Horizons is expected to reach the object, KBO 2014 MU69 in the Kuiper Belt in 2019, the spacecraft keeps sending critical data throughout its journey through the outer space. As a part of the process the spacecraft has sent photos of an object beyond Pluto measuring 145 kilometers in diameter, which the scientists called 1994 JR1.

NASA announced on Thursday that New Horizons sent pictures of 1994 JR1 on April 7 and 8 taken with the help of Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) from a distance of about 69 million miles. Though New Horizons have broken its own record of clicking closest picture ever the spacecraft is 170 million miles away from the object.

“In this short animation, consisting of four frames taken by the spacecraft’s Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on Nov. 2, and spaced an hour apart, one can see this 90-mile (150-kilometer)-wide ancient body, officially called 1994 JR1, moving against a background of stars,” a NASA statement reads, according to Morning Ticker.

The 1994 JR1 is located at about five billion kilometers from earth. Scientist earlier believed that 1994 JR1 was a quasi-satellite of Pluto but the recent revelation dismissed the theory. The rotation period of JR1 was found to be 5.4 hours which translates to one complete day of the object. It is also reported that the speed of rotation of JR1 is the fastest of any object located in Kuiper Belt. The rotation period is calculated from the changes in the light reflected from the object’s surface, reported The Te Cake.

“When these images were made, 1994 JR1 was 3.3 billion miles (5.3 billion miles) from the sun, but only 170 million miles (280 million kilometers) away from New Horizons. This sets a record, by a factor of at least 15, for the closest-ever picture of a small body in the Kuiper Belt, the solar system’s ‘third zone’ beyond the inner, rocky planets and outer, icy gas giants,” noted NASA report.

NASA’s New Horizons Discovers New World Beyond Pluto – Counsel & Heal