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Title    Tiny Moon Possibly Orbiting 2014 MU69
Date    Thursday December 14 2017, @05:23AM
Author    mrpg
from the inhabitants-have-no-livers dept.

takyon writes:

2014 MU69, which is still thought to be a contact binary or binary object, may also have a tiny moon (although additional observations are needed):

The object, known as 2014 MU69, is small, no more than 20 miles wide [30-40 km], but planetary scientists hope that it will turn out to be an ancient and pristine fragment from the earliest days of the solar system.

The moon, if it exists, might be about three miles [~5 km] wide, circling at a distance of about 120 miles [~190 km] from MU69, completing an orbit every two to four weeks, estimated Marc W. Buie, an astronomer at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo.

He cautioned that the findings were tentative. "The story could change next week," he said.

Dr. Buie and others working on NASA's New Horizons mission provided an update on Tuesday at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union meeting here.

New Horizons is set to fly closer to 2014 MU69 than it did to Pluto (~3,500 km vs. 12,472 km). Flyby or collision course?

Voting for a possible new name for the object has been closed. Mjölnir (Thor's hammer) got the most votes. That name could fit the shape of 2014 MU69 somewhat.

Also at Sky & Telescope, Science News, and BBC.

Original Submission


  1. "takyon" -
  2. "2014 MU69" -
  3. "thought to be a contact binary or binary object" -
  4. "a tiny moon" -
  5. "New Horizons" -
  6. "closed" -
  7. "Mjölnir" -
  8. "Sky & Telescope" -
  9. "Science News" -
  10. "BBC" -
  11. "Original Submission" -

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printed from SoylentNews, Tiny Moon Possibly Orbiting 2014 MU69 on 2024-05-21 00:17:55