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Hunting New Horizons' Next Target

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The New Horizons spacecraft, having successfully observed the Pluto-Charon system, will flyby the Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69 (Ultima Thule) on January 1, 2019. On August 4, 2018, Ultima Thule passed in front of a star, casting a shadow that ran across the Earth (Top Left). Scientists gathered in South America and Africa to measure its diameter from the shadow passage. In Colombia was PSI Senior Scientist Henry Throop (Top Right, orange shirt) and in Senegal was PSI Research Scientist Isaac Smith (Middle, circled, with the President of Senegal who greeted the scientists coming to Senegal for the event). Dry runs were conducted the night before the occultation (Lower Left, in Colombia). Verdant fields and local cattle await the event on the night of the occultation (Lower Right, in Colombia). Some sites ended up being clouded over while others successfully collected data.

September 23, 2018

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