(CBS4) – More images have beamed back to earth from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft. On Tuesday, it showed scientists and the rest of the world sights of an icy object nicknamed Ultima Thule, meaning “Beyond The Known World.”
Although the flyby occurred at 12:33 a.m. ET on Tuesday, the spacecraft is so far from Earth that the “phone-home” signal didn’t reach us until about 10:30 a.m. ET. Better pictures came in on Wednesday.
“That bowling pin is gone. It’s a snowman if it’s anything at all. It’s only really the size of Washington D.C., and it’s about as reflective as garden variety dirt,” said Alan Stern, the New Horizons principal investigator.
Scientists believe Ultima Thule was formed more than 4 billion years ago.
The spacecraft was partly built at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder. It’s been in flight since 2006. In 2015, New Horizons reached Pluto.