It's getting bigger.
Last week, NASA unveiled a photo of space probe New Horizons gradually approaching an unknown space in space called the Ultima Thule.
Ultima expects to swoop through a billion miles past Pluto, orbit the Sun, and NASA to raid near distant objects shortly after midnight on January 1, 2019.
It will be the place where humanity furthest away from the other world.
"NASA's planetary scientist Alan Stern, who leads the space probe, said last week," What will Ultima reveal? Nobody knows. "
NASA thinks that Ultima is the type of ice mass that formed about 4.5 billion years ago when our solar system started.
But since then, the Ultima, which explores the extreme cold outside of the solar system, is presumed to have been largely preserved in its primitive primitive condition that allows scientists to see distant past.
In fact, Ultima should be an important window into the early stages of planetary formation and what the solar system was like 4.5 billion years ago, Stern said.
Ultima is formally classified as "Kuiper Belt Object." This object is the world of ice ages that surrounds the solar system beyond the last major planet, Neptune. "This is the remaining part of the early history of the solar system.
Ultima is already somewhat mysterious.
In previous images, scientists have found that Ultima is probably strange and irregular. However, as the New Horizon approaches, the pattern of light reflected by the icyma or the curves of light do not match. For most other objects, this light pattern repeats as the object rotates.
Stern said in a statement, "It's really a puzzle.
New New Horizon scientists thought that the dust clouds and moons around Ultima were creating curves of strange light.
But there is one thing that is almost certain.
The Stern team concluded that there was no obstacle between the New Horizon (7 feet, 9 feet high) and the Ultima Thule on December 15th.
Stern told NASA that the space probe is now "Go" to get closer to Ultima.
In the summer of 2015, New Horizon flew to Pluto. It caught the unprecedented detail of a dwarf planet, its mountains, cliffs and ice plains. The probe flew 7,000 miles from the surface of Pluto.
But it will be much closer to the Ultima Thule racing 2,200 miles on an almost unknown object.
The first image is expected to be returned early on the first day of the new year, approximately 30 minutes after the ball is dropped in Times Square.
"The Ultima Thule flyby is fast and challenging and will gain new knowledge," Stern said.
"It will be historical because it is the most distant expedition in history."
You can view images with the Ultima approach. To match the way of life. From 12:15 AM on NASA TV ET, Jan 1, 2019.