PIA21588: A KBO among the Stars


A KBO among the Stars

Caption:

In preparation for the New Horizons flyby of 2014 MU69 on Jan. 1, 2019, the spacecraft's Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) took a series of 10-second exposures of the background star field near the location of its target Kuiper Belt object (KBO). This composite image is made from 45 of these 10-second exposures taken on Jan. 28, 2017. The yellow diamond marks the predicted location of MU69 on approach, but the KBO itself was too far from the spacecraft (544 million miles, or 877 million kilometers) even for LORRI's telescopic "eye" to detect. New Horizons expects to start seeing MU69 with LORRI in September of 2018 -- and the team will use these newly acquired images of the background field to help prepare for that search on approach.

Background Info:

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, designed, built, and operates the New Horizons spacecraft, and manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. The Southwest Research Institute, based in San Antonio, leads the science team, payload operations and encounter science planning. New Horizons is part of the New Frontiers Program managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Ultima Thule
System Kuiper Belt
Target Type TNO
Mission New Horizons
Instrument Host New Horizons
Host Type Flyby Spacecraft
Instrument Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI)
Detector
Extra Keywords Color, Visual
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2017-04-04
Date in Caption 2017-01-28 2019-01-01
Image Credit NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21588
Identifier PIA21588