‘Not just a space potato’: Nasa unveils ‘astonishing’ details of most distant object ever visited

It’s red, it’s cold, it’s 4bn years old: Nasa data from Arrokoth reveals ‘profound truths’ about the solar system

Nasa has unveiled details of the most distant object visited by a spacecraft, in observations that could resolve a decades-long puzzle of how the planets first emerged from the hazy dust of the early solar system.

The ultra-red, peanut-shaped object, called Arrokoth, sits located 1bn miles beyond Pluto in the Kuiper belt, a vast donut-shaped region that is home to thousands of dwarf planets and icy objects. Nasa’s New Horizons spacecraft made a flyby on New Year’s Day 2019, but the extreme distance from Earth means the probe is still beaming back data gathered during the brief encounter.

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