World Beyond Pluto

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New Horizons has found a more distant world out beyond Pluto about 1 billion miles away from the sun on its travels through the Kuiper Belt.  This new world may be an icy relic left over from the formation of the planet Pluto.  Right now, NASA is calling it 2014 MU69 and will eventually give a proper name.  2014 MU69 is only about 25 miles across and astronomers say that it may have a lot of information contained in its small size.  They are hoping to find out a lot from this 4.5-billion-year-old frozen object that it may be considered a Galactic Time Capsule.

New Horizons’ started its extended mission on January 1, 2019 after being approved to search farther out than Pluto.  The teams had to combat bad weather, dense star fields of Sagittarius, hardware problems, and space-borne observatories to get New Horizons on its newest search.  While out on its search it has discovered over 50 new objects in the Kuiper Belt – an icy ring of rubble in the outer edge of the solar system.

Robotic explorers have visited Pluto and its moons which is the most distant worlds ever visited.  Now New Horizons is going to visit even farther out to discover new worlds.