Without satellites, rings and a cometary tail: astronomers summed up the study of Ultima Thule

Ultima Thule is located close to the orbit of Pluto, and its size is from 25 to 45 km. Astronomers for the first time

discovered the cosmic body using the Hubble orbital telescope - previously it was assumed that it is an anomalously elongated spheroid, resembling a snowman.

Since early March, Ultima Thule has been behindout of sight New Horizons - the probe has already flown deep into the Kuiper belt, but continues to transmit data on the asteroid to Earth. It is expected that all 3 GB of information and photographs, scientists will receive no earlier than September 2020.

Based on available data, researcherssuggested that Ultima Tule was formed in relative proximity to its current location about 4.5 billion years ago. The cosmic body most likely does not have a single satellite - also New Horizons did not find in it a comet tail and clouds of dust in the vicinity.

An asteroid formed as a resultnon-catastrophic coupling of two source bodies, astronomers write. They could form next to each other and circulate around a common center of mass in the distant past.

The temperature of Ultima Tule is about 42 K, and seasonal temperature fluctuations are noticeable only on the surface of the body.

Earlier, Hightech explained why astronomers are researching Ultim Thule and how data on the asteroid can help us understand the structure and formation of the Solar System.