Bennu and Ultima Thule

22 Mar 2019

At ... data from the New Horizons mission is still filtering back and what has been revealed so far will be discussed at the 50th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Texas. Ultima Thule is regarded as a primordial object. It is 22 miles long and it has a large flat lobe connected to a smaller rounder lobe. The strange shape is the surprise. Apparently, we are told the two lobes once orbited each other but an unknown something brought them together - or that is the thinking at the moment. What caused them to join at the hip? A spokesman is quoted as saying, 'we don't know yet what processes were most important in making that happen ...'. Ultima Thule is also red - much redder than Pluto. New Horizons data revealed methanol, water ice, and organic molecules on the surface. However, more data is on the way and it will be the summer of 2020 before NASA can say no more is forthcoming. Hence, lots of information potentially to come.

At ... water bearing minerals have also been found on the asteroid Bennu - an abundance of them.