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 is between 25 and 45 km in size. Astronomers for the first time

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

The asteroid was formed as a resultnon-catastrophic coupling of two initial bodies, astronomers write. They could have formed next to each other and orbited 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.

Previously, Hi-Tech explained why astronomers are studying Ultima Thule and how data about the asteroid can help us understand the structure and process of formation of the Solar System.