PIA21865: Wink of a Star
 Target Name:  Kuiper Belt Object
 Mission:  New Horizons
 Spacecraft:  New Horizons
 Instrument:  LORRI
 Product Size:  559 x 345 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  Johns Hopkins University/APL
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA21865.tif (194.8 kB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA21865.jpg (38.14 kB)

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NASA's New Horizons team trained mobile telescopes on an unnamed star (circled) from a remote area of Argentina on July 17, 2017. A Kuiper Belt object 4.1 billion miles from Earth -- known as 2014 MU69 -- briefly blocked the light from the background star, in what's known as an occultation. The time difference between frames is 200 milliseconds, or 0.2 seconds. This data will help scientists better measure the shape, size and environment around the object. The New Horizons spacecraft will fly by this ancient relic of solar system formation on Jan. 1, 2019. It will be the most distant object ever explored by a spacecraft.

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, designed, built, and operates the New Horizons spacecraft, and manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. The Southwest Research Institute, based in San Antonio, leads the science team, payload operations and encounter science planning. New Horizons is part of the New Frontiers Program managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Image Credit:
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

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