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Why Scientists Are Puzzled By Ultima Thule

New Horizons is on its course toward Pluto and its moons, and with the images that it has captured so far, scientists are wondering why Ultima Thule, a trans-Neptunian object located at the Kuiper Belt lacks a light curve.

Even though scientists determined in 2017 that the Kuiper Belt object isn't shaped like a sphere – that it is probably elongated or maybe even two objects – they haven't seen the repeated pulsations in brightness that they'd expect from a rotating object of that shape.
The periodic variation in brightness during every rotation produces what scientists refer to as a light curve.

Read more on the New Horizons site.

(Image credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI)


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