A recent batch of data collected by the New Horizon spacecraft provides valuable insight related to the formations of planetesimals. The New Horizons spacecraft flew past an ancient object from the Kuiper Belt last year. Known as Arrokoth or 2014 MU69
This space object is one of the oldest remnants from the formation of the solar system. With the help of the tools carried by the probe, researchers have managed to collect valuable information about the geology, shape, and color of Arrokoth.
Since Arrokoth is the most distant and well-conserved object that has been visited by using a spacecraft, the researchers managed to learn more about the processes between the formation of planetesimals, which are deemed to be the essential seeds that contribute to the formation of planets.
New Horizon explored Arrokoth
An initial set of post-flyby images that were sent by New Horizon in January 2018 shows that Arrokoth features connected lobes along with a surface that appears to be smooth. The uniform composition infers that it did not collide with other objects and a pristine state has been maintained. These details have been presented in a scientific paper which was published in May 2019.
A high-ranking NASA employee has stated that the recent success is a pinnacle of what is already deemed to be one of the most successful missions as fresh data could alter the way in which we perceive other planetary bodies within or across the universe.
By analyzing a large volume of data and using a series of advanced computer simulations, scientists have concluded that the lobes of the object were once two different objects that orbited each other and merged into a single one. This trait suggests that Akorroth may have formed during the collapse of a cloud-filled with solid materials, with the phenomenon taking place in the primordial solar nebula. It is also thought that the KBO formed from nearby material.
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