Exploring Ultima Thule – An Ancient Tiny, Planetessimal On The Edge Of Our Solar System

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Less than a day to go before New Horizons flys close to a tiny object discovered on the edge of our solar system. This body wasn’t discovered until a few years ago, and yet it also represents one of the most ancient, unevolved bodies in the solar system.

For more information on the discovery of Ultima Thule I suggest looking at Alex Parker’s summary of events on Twitter

  1. gary swift

    Great update, Scott. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Mantha

    “Ultima Thule” Wow! They actually gave a celestial object a cool name for once!
    Oh. Nevermind.

  3. Jonathan Torres

    I love your videos, Scott Manley, you not only explain everything very well but you also always answer everything I would have asked about.

  4. Dale Thelander

    Did they find Brian Blessed and John Shrapnel on Ultima Thule?

  5. Crazy Funny Cats

    4 to Beam up Scotty!
    Happy 2019 ! 🥳🎉✨☕️✨
    Subbed …
    Our ultimate tool uhh,,, is a hammer 🔨. 😹
    Actually a hammer and a net is all ya need to fight crime

  6. jayc5000

    Looking forward to hearing more news about the fly by!

  7. RhedinRage

    I love Elite Dangerous’ focus on science without going too far into hand wavium sci fi.

  8. Tommy Vaske

    Excellent! Such hype, bigly arrival. =)

  9. Ange Einstein

    Could you make a video about Lanch termination systems?

  10. Anthony Price

    Great job Scott, I watch all your updates regarding space and science. Awesome stuff. You do a great job of explaining things to people like me who have to have the information simplified.

  11. JackSpeed 439

    Another awesome update. I tell my friends about this stuff and they ask “how do I know” and I say that Scott Manley told me.

  12. James Driscoll

    So, an update when the data is in? I hope so!
    Great to hear some details Thanks!

  13. Albert Gérard

    love the nostalgic reference Ireland. outro music too.

  14. Burgerl X

    3:18 is that an arduino mega on that printer/scanner? (in the left bottom corner)

  15. Erik Granqvist

    Could you do a video where you explain how the speed of the data is affected by distance?

  16. Martyn Greener

    So it will take about a second to pass Thule. 15km a second, Thule is only 15km wide, that’s one hell of a motion blur, taking pictures of the arse end as we speed away. :-D

  17. Free Saxon

    A video packed with Information so densely it’s spherical

  18. Spore Murph

    I’m glad you acknowledge that the Scots are just Irish migrants. ;)

  19. Shmu

    New Horizons mission after MU69 is to serve as a deep space observatory for objects that Hubble can’t see. Mostly it’ll be asleep but they are planning to use it not just for new flyby targets but also for exploring the belt.

  20. Youssef Twaij

    Gratz on 800k!

  21. Rocket Chili

    19 *sorry* 14.1914??!!WELL WW1 TECH IS AMAZING

  22. Elopeous

    Yes. Happy New year to you too Scott. Hope nrol launches fine this year

  23. Eric Taylor

    You have got to have the best voice on You Tube, *AND* some of the best content. You are not just a cool voice.
    Good luck in 2019.

  24. Mateusz Wielgosz

    Hi Scott, thanks for the video. Where did you get “shadow” animation at 5:24?

  25. Alex Siemers

    Happy Birthday my dude!

  26. Mike Ohlsondefine

    Scott you are a human treasure and in particular a great boon to space fans. Happy new year and fly safe yourself.

  27. PSRB1919

    The quality of your videos have been improving more and more and your effort and hardwork in your videos is very noticeable and welcome.

  28. SMOBY44

    Scott, love the Ninkasi Space Program boxes! Keep up the great videos.

  29. jort93z

    couldn’t they configure new horizons to center the image properly after the nyt1 picture so the nyt2 or 3 picture would most certainly be fine?
    Or does new horizons not have the required performace to detect objects by itself in time? Or is there some technical issue making it impossible?

  30. Trumu H

    Can’t wait till the flyby

  31. Lloyd Mills

    Thank you very very much for making high quality and high info-dense videos and sharing them! Great stuff!

  32. Ricky Downhill - RDH

    Ultima Thule sounds like the name of a character in a Conan The Barbarian movie.

  33. Sascha Böse

    Happy Birthday Scott and fly safe

  34. martin stephenson

    Mr Manley oozes competence, and brings great enthusiasm to the topics he covers here. This is the Youtube channel I admire the most.

  35. rafaeldoria

    This probe is literaly expanding our horizons… can’t wait until they show us their first analisis in the press conference… Keep up the awesome work, Scott… love your space exploration videos… the Elite ones too!

  36. johnmburt1960

    Astonishing that this last-minute pass is even possible.
    And on New Year’s Day, no less.

  37. hityouwithacoustic

    @ 3:04 ” whole buncho other objects”- couldn’t make much of that slide …too small!!
    where is it from ,I wouldn’t mind a better look!
    Thanks Scott. v /interesting.

  38. Michael Millican

    Thanks for another amazing space video Scott :) cmdr~Space Time~

  39. Jeff Clark

    Thanks for the great post Scott!

  40. Skippy the Magnificent

    3:45 I’m assuming that’s Earth time. New Horizons is about six light-hours away.

  41. Seth Goldberg

    Seeing how excited you are about this makes me that much more excited about it… Thank you!

  42. na klar

    You are the best. Thanks a lot for all your content! Happy 2019

  43. John Hogan

    OK, Jan 1 and I am suddenly excited for this… thanks Scott!

  44. Eloquence

    It would be pretty funny if it ends up being rocket junk.

  45. Orella Minx

    Watch us get out there, and somehow, it’s Elon’s roadster with Starman holding up a “Beat you” sign and blasting We are the Champs through the radio

  46. Alex Hndr

    Just going through the New Years Eve…
    Watched this video..
    The fly by happens TODAY
    *W O A H*

  47. Timothy Marchant

    Heard of Kuiper but never heard of Edgeworth.
    Great vid as ever.
    Cheers Scott!
    Happy Christmas & Hogmanay!

  48. sophrapsune

    Discovered in 2014, flyby in 2019.
    That must be the fastest turn around from discovery to close science in the history of spaceflight.

  49. ApolloAerospace

    I am constandly looking at your rockets in the background.

  50. Your Neighbour

    Humans look into the universe
    *It’s free real estate*

  51. Omer Magen

    Brian May brought me here

  52. Lawrence Tider

    Kuiper Belt and the Oort cloud both names after the Dutch guys who theorised them existing.

  53. ferrari guy

    Can’t wait for the blurry images.

  54. D R

    Hey Scott love your work. Friendly gramner note concerning your description text:
    * New Horizons flies (not flys)

  55. Al Taloma

    Sorry, no magnetometer. We’d tried proposing a mini-magnetometer for the JPL competitor to New Horizons, Pluto Express, but no-go, and New Horizons was chosen. That gives us something to look forward to in the future, funding dependent.

  56. The Lonely Rogue

    Can we call it the Pluto Mk. II?

  57. Jeffrey Bue

    what a way to ring in 2019!

  58. Craig Corson

    Hi, Scott. I was wondering – had the Hubble been built correctly, i.e. without the spherical aberration, would its resolution have been better, worse, or the same as it is with the corrective optics? You seem like the man to ask.

  59. Felis Phasma

    9:33 “Science is done far beyond the Human’s visible spectrum” Scott Manley is an alien confirmed?

  60. david brettell

    Thanks for giving Edgeworth a shout out. Glad to remember the guy that had the “right guess” rather than the most “remembered guess”.

  61. James Roberts

    wasn’t Ultima Thule in an early episode of Space 1999?

  62. Mr L0wK3y

    Subaruuuuuuuuu! Lol. Good morning brother. Much love and respect from Indiana, USA. Brother, I would love to build a model rocket for you to display in the background of your videos!

  63. 4lly0ur8as3

    Wont thye know during the failsafe images if the location is off and fix the tracking in the final approach?

  64. zapfanzapfan

    I had never heard of Edgeworth before you mentioned it on the TRMO/DA/LPA-webcast and I’m deeply into astronomy. I’m still learning new stuff :-)

  65. Alex Kinningham

    “you can look it up” *puts it up on screen* 😂

  66. CHOOPS K

    watched last night on NOVA. Very impressive work that was done to get to this point. I especially liked how they used Hubble and Gaia and others to get here. Great work by all involved.

  67. Friendly Robot

    Ralph and Alice!! “One of these days… To the MOON!”

  68. Fran Tabor

    Did not know Kuiper Belt was wrongly named. THANK YOU for the history lesson.

  69. HJG HJG

    wake me when you get to the Ort Cloud…….

  70. Paul Frederick

    No true Scotsman calls it just the Kuiper Belt laddie!

  71. paladin17t

    You are actually incorrect about a magnetometer data.
    New Horizons don’t have magnetometers on board. The reason being that nobody thought Pluto might have a magnetic field (so it still might, and we just don’t know).

  72. ExpendableCrewMn

    How about for New Horizons’ next mission, we use it to double-check parallax measurements of stars?

  73. Nigel Jesus Cardozo

    New Horizon New Year

  74. matt_543

    It would be amazing if we discovered a planet inhabited by life.

  75. Lucas Croft

    2014 MU *69*?

  76. Earl el-amin

    29 down votes?
    Must be the UFO/space isn’t real crowd.

  77. Anarchy Antz

    *Mark Watney, Mars 33,926,867.096 Miles away at about 3.1 mph* : I’m going to science the crap out of this!
    *New Horizons, Ultima Thule 4,000,000,000,000 (approx) at about 31,500 mph* : You call that sciencing? Hold my beer!

  78. Upcycle Electronics

    Hey Scott, go watch Chris’s ~12 min interview with Alan he posted yesterday on his YT channel “Launch Pad Astronomy.” Alan sounds much more optimistic about the future prospects for targets and uses for New Horizons. He said he expects science objectives to continue for the next 20 years and is confident they have the resources needed to put together another proposal for their next target. I expect “best case scenario” type optimism in a public interview directly from him, but still I like the more optimistic spin and the excitement that brings to this occasion ;)

  79. Markle2k

    It’s 09:13UTC 31 Dec. So the first failsafe image should be here?

  80. Søren Lauridsen

    Happy new year, fellow space geeks!

  81. Matt P

    Do you wear a kilt when you’re presenting these videos?

  82. Mik H

    800k subs! Happy new year Scott.

  83. David Parry

    Prepare to be amazed.
    Expect to be surprised.
    Brace yourself to learn something exciting.

  84. 95TurboSol

    Ultima Thule sounds like a foreign wrestling technique

  85. Paul Paulson

    10:23 I like the use of UTC in the image. Much easier to translate into your local time. And it’s still possible to combine it with the local time of an event, e.g. saying “3 pm UTC-6”. No need to google yet another time zone by its specific name or abbreviation.

  86. Nigel Jesus Cardozo

    Happy New Year eve Scott

  87. Launch Pad Astronomy

    It’s gonna be one heck of a show. Great video and great explanation of the discovery of MU69!

  88. Kevin Miedema

    can we all agree that is such a cool name for a asteroid?

  89. NefariousKoel

    “Will take about 20 months to download all that data.”
    – Does that include an estimate of Horizon’s dial-up disconnects?

  90. Karl Storie

    Did not know about the “Edgeworth/Kuiper belt”. Thanks for that! Do you refer to the “Lorentz/Fitzgerald contraction” too?

  91. Jerry Rupprecht

    You could say it’s the coolest mission we’ve ever done.

  92. Samovar maker

    Space is basically a DLC for Earth

  93. Attila Asztalos

    Wait, what? One can’t just take any image on a computer, say “enhance” and have it zoom in all the way to pebble level…? This can’t be true, it goes against everything Hollywood taught me!

  94. Tom Roberts

    “You can go and look all of this up”….But Scott that’s what I am watching you for haha

  95. Nigel Jesus Cardozo

    800k subscribers great Scott congratulations!!

  96. John Donovan

    I’m really liking this new trend towards more “serious” space videos. Keep it up!

  97. Sami Anttila

    A video about these datalink speeds around the universe would be greatly appreciated.

  98. Prize

    11:40 “I’ve obviously been interested in these small bodies for a very long time”
    *F B I O P E N U P*

  99. Domagoj Terzic

    20 months to download 6,5 GB of data? Still faster than my ISP.

  100. The Lonely Rogue

    What’s the science penalty for transmitting this data rather than recovering the spacecraft?

Comments are closed.