The tumbling space snowman is making its out-of-this-world film premiere.
The small, icy object is shown spinning end-over-end like a propeller. It is about 4 billion miles from Earth and looks like a reddish snowman with two fused-together spheres, extending about 21 miles in length.
The movie was put together from photos taken New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day as the spacecraft made its closest approach, but not sent back to Earth until the last few days. The same spacecraft explored Pluto in 2015.
Ultima Thule rotates about every 16 hours so the time-lapsed movie shows seven of those hours.
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