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>> Just a couple of days ago on December 31st, 2018. This was humanity's best image of Ultima Thule. Well, that image is so 2018, meet Ultima Thule.>>
>> Earth got its first clear look at an icy world roughly 4,000,000,000 miles away. And it looks like a big snowman.
>> That bowling pin is gone, it's a snowman if it's anything at all.>> At a press conference on Wednesday, NASA scientists released several new images of Ultima Thule, taken by the New Horizons space probe at a range of more than 300,000 miles out while traveling 32,000 miles per hour.
>> Three Two, one.>> The New Horizon's mission was launched in 2006. A year later it sent back new pictures of Jupiter and in 2015 some of the fist images of the surface of Pluto. But on the first day of 2019 t sailed past this irregular shaped rock which NASA now says with confidence was once two separate bodies that got stuck together.
>> More than 4.5 billion years ago.>> It's really the size of something like Washington DC, and it's about as reflective as garden variety dirt.>> The snowman sits so deep on the icy edge of our solar system, that temperatures are near absolute zero. Which scientist say may preserve chemicals in a state dating back to the formation of earth.
Until this week scientist had never before seen a closeup of an object like
which they hope will offer clues about how planets are formed. Even clear images will arrive in another transmission and more data is expected to trickle in over the next 20 months