Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Kuiper Belt

  • Animation shows Ultima Thule rotating as New Horizons approached

    Laurel KornfeldJanuary 17th, 2019

    Using images of Ultima Thule by the the New Horizons spacecraft, mission scientists have created an animation depicting the Kuiper Belt Object's rotation during the last hours before the probe's approach.

  • New Horizons team releases first stereo image of Ultima Thule

    Laurel KornfeldJanuary 4th, 2019

    NASA's New Horizons team released the first stereo image of Ultima Thule, enabling viewers wearing 3D glasses to see its shape.

  • First flyby images reveal Ultima Thule is a contact binary

    Laurel KornfeldJanuary 3rd, 2019

    New Horizons' first close flyby images of Ultima Thule show the Kuiper Belt object to be a contact binary composed of two lobes joined together.

  • A single mission could orbit Pluto and explore the Kuiper Belt

    Laurel KornfeldOctober 30th, 2018

    While the New Horizons' mission is still exploring the Kuiper Belt a new mission could accomplish what the spacecraft has - and much more.

  • New Horizons team previews Ultima Thule flyby

    Laurel KornfeldOctober 27th, 2018

    With the Ultima Thule flyby just 10 weeks away, the New Horizons team detailed plans for the spacecraft's trajectory and science gathering mission.

  • New Horizons Science Chat discusses Ultima Thule flyby

    Laurel KornfeldSeptember 21st, 2018

    NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is now closer to its second target, Ultima Thule, than the Earth is to the Sun, and with the flyby just over 100 days away, mission scientists are actively preparing for the encounter.

  • New Horizons exits hibernation to prepare for KBO flyby

    Laurel KornfeldJune 9th, 2018

    NASA's New Horizons probe has been awakened from nearly six months in hibernation to enable the mission team to start preparations for its flyby of Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) Ultima Thule (also known as 2014 MU69) in the early morning hours of New Year's Day 2019.

  • New Horizons’ next target nicknamed Ultima Thule

    Laurel KornfeldMarch 16th, 2018

    Following a public naming campaign that drew 115,000 participants, NASA's New Horizons team has selected the name Ultima Thule for the spacecraft's second target, Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) 2014 MU69, which the probe is scheduled to fly past on New Year's Day 2019.

  • New Horizons breaks Voyager 1’s record for most distant images from Earth

    Laurel KornfeldFebruary 10th, 2018

    NASA's New Horizons spacecraft broke yet another record by capturing the most distant images from Earth, photographing an open star cluster along with several dwarf planets, Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) and centaurs with its Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI).

  • Tidal heating could sustain dwarf planets’ subsurface oceans

    Laurel KornfeldDecember 17th, 2017

    Icy dwarf planets in the Kuiper Belt could maintain subsurface liquid oceans if they have moons that generate tidal heating, thereby preventing the oceans from freezing, according to a new study published in the journal Icarus.

  • Public invited to vote on nicknames for New Horizons’ next target

    Laurel KornfeldNovember 8th, 2017

    With just a little over a year remaining until New Horizons' flyby of 2014 MU69, NASA is asking the public for help in choosing a nickname for the Kuiper Belt Object (KBO).

  • Planetary scientists explore possible Kuiper Belt follow-up mission

    Laurel KornfeldMay 8th, 2017

    Less than two years after the New Horizons spacecraft's historic Pluto flyby, a group of planetary scientists is taking the first steps toward a second mission to the Kuiper Belt.

  • Evidence mounts for subsurface ocean on Pluto

    Laurel KornfeldNovember 17th, 2016

    Three new studies based on data returned by New Horizons add to existing evidence that Pluto harbors a subsurface ocean. The studies focus on the very bright Sputnik Planitia, the left side of Tombaugh Regio and Pluto's iconic "heart", which featured prominently in the first photos returned during the July 2015 flyby.

  • Pluto’s mountains have methane snowcaps, New Horizons images Quaoar

    Laurel KornfeldSeptember 6th, 2016

    Snowcaps similar to those on Earth are visible in the southernmost region at the left of Pluto's encounter hemisphere, according to the latest images sent back by New Horizons. However, unlike the water-ice caps of Earth, these are composed of methane.

  • Dwarf planet with eccentric orbit discovered in the Kuiper Belt

    Laurel KornfeldJuly 13th, 2016

    Astronomers working on a study of the orbital structure and history of the outer Solar System announced their discovery of a new dwarf planet beyond Pluto in a 700-year eccentric solar orbit.