Encounter with Ultima Thule: The Most Distant Object Humanity Has Ever Explored (with Dr. Jeff Moore)

Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures

Sep 26 2021 • 55 mins

After encountering Pluto, the New Horizons spacecraft, for the first time flew by a member of the Kuiper Belt of icy objects beyond Neptune.  This particular object, informally named “Ultimate Thule” (meaning the farthest place beyond the known world,) turned out to be a “contact binary” – two smaller icy worlds stuck together. Dr. Jeff Moore, a planetary scientist at NASA Ames Research Center,  shares an insider’s view (with great images) of how the mission got there and what we learned at Ultima Thule.  This talk was recorded Oc.t 19, 2019.  Since then this object has been given the official name Arrokoth.