Congratulations New Horizons Team – We used to dream


Congratulations New Horizons Team – publishing the first report and analysis of their findings on their ground breaking fly-by of Ultima Thule – 4 billion miles away in the Kuiper Belt. Published in peer-reviewed SCIENCE magazine, which makes it an official milestone.

This right here is the ultimate best photograph of this extraordinary object we’ll see in our lifetimes. I’m proud to have my name on this paper – you can see me if you search … but it’s a little little like ‘Finding Waldo’ !!!

Ultima Thule
Ultima Thule by New Horizons

Science Magazine cover 17/5/19

New Horizons credits - pg 1 Science Magazine 17/5/19

New Horizons credits - pg 2 Science Magazine 17/5/19

And probably the final stereo view of Ultima Thule – the first Kuiper Belt rock mankind has ever visited. It was an unmanned visit, but I think we all felt we were THERE, in the New Horizons probe, looking out the window as we sped by, 4 Billion miles from planet Earth, at a speed of about 36,000 miles per hour – yes, you read that right – 36 THOUSAND miles an hour. This picture is the result of the work of hundreds of very clever NASA people over at least 15 years, under the direction of Alan Stern, who masterminded the Mission – originally to Pluto – but now exploring further out at the cold edge of the Solar System. Enjoy ! Parallel view above, crossed eyes view below.

Ultima Thule combined parallel and cross-eyed stereo - Credits : NASA New Horizons jhuapl/SWRI
Ultima Thule combined parallel and cross-eyed stereo – Credits : NASA New Horizons jhuapl/SWRI

I should make it clear that this is not a conversion, but a REAL stereoscopic pair, made from images taken just a few minutes apart as the New Horizons probe sped past the object, ‘looking’ sideways. I’ll have to check this, but I would guess that the baseline between the two views is a couple of thousand miles.?

No words needed !!! But I think in the early days we used to dream of something like this happening. Thanks @robi_stereo !

Homer Simpson and Queen poster

Quo Vadis ?  Brian May: Quo Vadis ?