First Results From the NASA New Horizons Mission Flyby of KBO Ultima Thule
Carey Lisse
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory



On January 1, 2019 the New Horizons spacecraft had the first ever close flyby encounter with a small cold classical KBO, 2014 MU69 (aka Ultima Thule). After a trip of 4 billion miles, New Horizons flew within 3600 km of the surface of this bilobate object, observing it with VISNIR imaging cameras, UV and NIR spectrometers, low and high energy ion detectors, and the Student Dust Counter experiment. Geomorphological and rotational characterizations of Ultima Thule were performed, as well as searches for moons, rings, coma, and outgassing activity. The resulting treasure trove of data will take 20 months to download, but tantalizing results have already been returned.
In this talk we will present the first preliminary results from the NH Ultima Thule flyby, and discuss their implications for the nature of the body and the mechanisms that formed it in the heart of the Kuiper belt.