NASA presents Ultima Thule: it's a snowman! ⛄️
Okay, it's actually a contact binary Kuiper Belt object (this means it was once two separate objects that gently merged over a long period of time). It's the most distant "world" and the first contact binary ever visited by a human spacecraft. It's a reddish color, similar to the red regions of Pluto that New Horizons imaged so beautifully, and is 21 miles/33 kms long.
Because scientists are not science fiction writers (well, almost never), they named the bottom, larger lobe "Ultima" and the smaller, top lobe "Thule." 🤨
Expect even better images and a lot more details in coming months; New Horizons recorded gigabytes of data, but the transmission rate is ssllllooowwwww.
Originally posted on Facebook.