New Horizons will reach a distant, mysterious object in the Kuiper Belt in three years’ time.
New Horizons has been accomplishing a series of feats lately. During its flyby near Pluto last year, it was able to take a number of pictures of the dwarf planet and its moons. From this data, scientists on Earth have concluded new facts about these heavenly bodies. The spacecraft is still sending more and more information that is yet to be examined by researchers. And, now, it is going for deep space, towards a mysterious object.
The next objective of New Horizons is the 2014 MU69 found in the Kuiper Belt; it will reach it by 2019. According to researchers, this object has remained unchanged for 4.6 billion years – it is basically the same as it has been since the birth of our solar system. This is so because of its deep position in the Kuiper Belt; it is thought that it will have not been influenced by other bodies through gravitational impacts. Studying it might reveal new information about the origin of our solar system, or even concerning the universe, say scientists. 2014 MU69 is also considered a good choice for being the next target of New Horizons because less fuel will be needed to reach it as opposed to other potential objects.
New Horizons will be using the same equipment to capture 2014 MU69 as that used on Pluto. We just have to wait some more years before this becomes possible. Scientists are eagerly waiting for this to happen – this is expected to be an unprecedented accomplishment as we have only been able to do so much with our powerful telescopes, the latter having limits, and we have not been able to clearly view such distant objects.