New Horizons' evocative farewell glance at Ultima Thule

February 9, 2019, NASA
New Horizons took this image of the Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69 (nicknamed Ultima Thule) on Jan. 1, 2019, when the NASA spacecraft was 5,494 miles (8,862 kilometers) beyond it. The image to the left is an "average" of ten images taken by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI); the crescent is blurred in the raw frames because a relatively long exposure time was used during this rapid scan to boost the camera’s si'gnal level. Mission scientists have been able to process the image, removing the motion blur to produce a sharper, brighter view of Ultima Thule's thin crescent. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/National Optical Astronomy Observatory

An evocative new image sequence from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft offers a departing view of the Kuiper Belt object (KBO) nicknamed Ultima Thule—the target of its New Year's 2019 flyby and the most distant world ever explored.

These aren't the last Ultima Thule images New Horizons will send back to Earth—in fact, many more are to come—but they are the final views New Horizons captured of the KBO (officially named 2014 MU69) as it raced away at over 31,000 miles per hour (50,000 kilometers per hour) on Jan. 1. The images were taken nearly 10 minutes after New Horizons crossed its closest approach point.

"This really is an incredible image sequence, taken by a spacecraft exploring a small world four billion miles away from Earth," said mission principal investigator Alan Stern, of Southwest Research Institute. "Nothing quite like this has ever been captured in imagery."

The newly released images also contain important scientific information about the shape of Ultima Thule, which is turning out to be one of the major discoveries from the flyby.

The first close-up images of Ultima Thule—with its two distinct and, apparently, spherical segments—had observers calling it a "snowman." However, more analysis of approach images and these new departure images have changed that view, in part by revealing an outline of the portion of the KBO that was not illuminated by the Sun, but could be "traced out" as it blocked the view to background stars.

Mission scientists created this "departure movie" from 14 different images taken by the New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) shortly after the spacecraft flew past the Kuiper Belt object nicknamed Ultima Thule (officially named 2014 MU69) on Jan. 1, 2019. The central frame of this sequence was taken on Jan. 1 at 05:42:42 UT (12:42 a.m. EST), when New Horizons was 5,494 miles (8,862 kilometers) beyond Ultima Thule, some 4.1 billion miles (6.6 billion kilometers) from Earth. The object's illuminated crescent is blurred in the individual frames because a relatively long exposure time was used during this rapid scan to boost the camera's signal level – but the science team combined and processed the images to remove the blurring and sharpen the thin crescent. This is the farthest movie of any object in our Solar System ever made by any spacecraft. The images reveal an outline of the "hidden" portion of the Ultima Thule that was not illuminated by the Sun as the spacecraft zipped by, but can be "traced out" because it blocked the view to background stars also in the image. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/National Optical Astronomy Observatory

Stringing 14 of these images into a short departure movie, New Horizons scientists can confirm that the two sections (or "lobes") of Ultima Thule are not spherical. The larger lobe, nicknamed "Ultima," more closely resembles a giant pancake and the smaller lobe, nicknamed "Thule," is shaped like a dented walnut.

"We had an impression of Ultima Thule based on the limited number of images returned in the days around the flyby, but seeing more data has significantly changed our view," Stern said. "It would be closer to reality to say Ultima Thule's shape is flatter, like a pancake. But more importantly, the new images are creating scientific puzzles about how such an object could even be formed. We've never seen something like this orbiting the Sun."

Scientists' understanding of Ultima Thule has changed as they review additional data. The "old view" in this illustration is based on images taken within a day of New Horizons' closest approach to the Kuiper Belt object on Jan. 1, 2019, suggesting that both of "Ultima" (the larger section, or lobe) and "Thule" (the smaller) were nearly perfect spheres just barely touching each other. But as more data were analyzed, including several highly evocative crescent images taken nearly 10 minutes after closest approach, a "new view" of the object's shape emerged. Ultima more closely resembles a "pancake," and Thule a "dented walnut." The bottom view is the team's current best shape model for Ultima Thule, but still carries some uncertainty as an entire region was essentially hidden from view, and not illuminated by the Sun, during the New Horizons flyby. The dashed blue lines span the uncertainty in that hemisphere, which shows that Ultima Thule could be either flatter than, or not as flat as, depicted in this figure. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

The departure images were taken from a different angle than the approach photos and reveal complementary information on Ultima Thule's shape. The central frame of the sequence was taken on Jan. 1 at 05:42:42 UT (12:42 a.m. EST), when New Horizons was 5,494 miles (8,862 kilometers) beyond Ultima Thule, and 4.1 billion miles (6.6 billion kilometers) from Earth. The object's illuminated crescent is blurred in the individual frames because a relatively long exposure time was used during this rapid scan to boost the camera's signal level—but the science team combined and processed the images to remove the blurring and sharpen the thin crescent.

This animation depicts a shape model of Ultima Thule created by the New Horizons science team based on its analysis of all the pre-flyby images sent to Earth so far. The first half of the movie mimics the view from the New Horizons spacecraft as it approached Ultima Thule and has the “snowman” shape that was so frequently mentioned in the days surrounding the New Year’s 2019 flyby. The movie then rotates to a side-view that illustrates what New Horizons might have seen had its cameras been pointing toward Ultima Thule only a few minutes after closest approach. While that wasn’t the case, mission scientists have been able to piece together a model of this side-view, which has been at least partially confirmed by a set of crescent images of Ultima Thule (link). There is still considerable uncertainty in the sizes of “Ultima” (the larger section, or lobe) and “Thule” (the smaller) in the vertical dimension, but it’s now clear that Ultima looks more like a pancake than a sphere, and that Thule is also very non-spherical. The rotation in this animation is not the object’s actual rotation, but is used purely to illustrate its shape. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Many background stars are also seen in the individual images; watching which stars "blinked out" as the object passed in front them allowed scientists to outline the shape of both lobes, which could then be compared to a model assembled from analyzing pre-flyby images and ground-based telescope observations. "The shape model we have derived from all of the existing Ultima Thule imagery is remarkably consistent with what we have learned from the new crescent images," says Simon Porter, a New Horizons co-investigator from the Southwest Research Institute, who leads the shape-modeling effort.

"While the very nature of a fast flyby in some ways limits how well we can determine the true shape of Ultima Thule, the new results clearly show that Ultima and Thule are much flatter than originally believed, and much flatter than expected," added Hal Weaver, New Horizons project scientist from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. "This will undoubtedly motivate new theories of planetesimal formation in the early solar system."

Explore further: New Horizons' newest and best-yet view of Ultima Thule

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SkyLight
3 / 5 (16) Feb 09, 2019
Ouch! - quite apart from the fact that pretty much everything the EU says about anything is pure hogwash - this totally nixes their preposterous claims that the two lobes were spherical globules caused by some unimaginable (except to them) process of "sputtering".

Let's wait and see how they sputter and foam at the mouth in trying to shift their goal-posts on this one...
Whys
3.1 / 5 (7) Feb 09, 2019
SkyLight, what do you believe your words have added to this conversation? You're ranting gibberish.
rrwillsj
3 / 5 (4) Feb 09, 2019
whys, why not? Why haven't you contributed anything relevant to the not-yet-a-conversation?

In addition to the minuscule mutual gravitational attraction,
I would speculate that there are
adhesion or cohesion forces at work.
Probably commingling of the , icy surface fields during the slow, slower. slowest possible rate of collision of the two chunks pf mush.

& not single lightning bolt in sight!
However, if you squint hard enough? Does kinda resemble a godling's thundermug?

& W, since you asked so nicely? Here's my ranting gibberish...
"So that's where my styrofoam model of the original Star Trek Enterprise wound up! Who woulda figured?"

Anonym667424
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 09, 2019
My two cents, two pancake shaped objects in a deteriorating orbit of one another would align along the axis that is closest to having them spinning like tops as they approach, the angular momentum would cause them to align like coins alongside on a table, as they get even closer they become gravitationally locked, just like the same face of the moon always faces the earth. When the orbit finally completely deteriorates they don't smash into each other as much as they just merge gently together. The final spin down could have even spun them into even more disc like objects as they approached before the force of them becoming gravitationally locked to one another became more dominant. That last part in conjecture and I am not about to try to program an excel spreadsheet to do the math, but it still may fall under the heading of "things worth looking into".
Da Schneib
3.9 / 5 (7) Feb 09, 2019
@Anonym, you must not forget that these bodies were not moving alone, nor were they motionless before they came within each others' (extremely small) gravitational influence. The prior motion is almost certainly far greater than any impulse that can be given by their (micro) gravity.
Thorium Boy
3.4 / 5 (5) Feb 10, 2019
What's with the spamming Somali garbage?
Jonseer
1.9 / 5 (9) Feb 10, 2019
Without a doubt one of the most disappointing flybys ever.

They can try to make something out of such a boring object all they want, but it won't hide the fact that they failed to make good on the 2nd. part of the promise that got them the Pluto flyby ok which was they'd find a good followup object out there to make the flyby worthwhile.

Ultima Thule is an utterly boring piece of ice that confirms a few irrelevant theories. It was a waste of time.

Maybe if they keep looking they'll find something truly extraordinary to look at out there, but Ultima Thule after Pluto/Charon was a total disappointment.
Da Schneib
3.9 / 5 (11) Feb 10, 2019
The point of science is to collect data, not make Star Wars movies.

Get over it.
granville583762
3 / 5 (4) Feb 10, 2019
Ultima Thule in Size Zero

There flat like two farthings stuck end to end
all this talk of gravity
it was already miniscule
till Ultima Thule turned end on
then
Ultima Thule became size zero
they're adhered by being frozen together
as
in
Frozen!, though its thoughtful they've seen the movie!

so
specially for Ultima Thule
The cold never bothered me any way
https://www.youtu...ZXepSXfI
Anonym667424
2.3 / 5 (4) Feb 10, 2019
@Anonym, you must not forget that these bodies were not moving alone, nor were they motionless before they came within each others' (extremely small) gravitational influence. The prior motion is almost certainly far greater than any impulse that can be given by their (micro) gravity.

The gravity that they possess is minimal, but we are also talking about geologic timescales. The cohesion of a snowball in space on the cold fringe of the solarsystem may be enough to make it flatten. Makes me want to do an experiment with a big ball of ice on a turntable, just to see if it will flatten despite being far below the freezing point of water over a period of, maybe a week...
Surveillance_Egg_Unit
2.3 / 5 (7) Feb 10, 2019
I agree with Anonym667424 and his/her first assessment. I don't think that the 2 objects were ever spherical in shape before they came in contact with each other. And, as granville indicates, the "2 coins effect" seems more reasonable which would more likely have caused the 2 objects to lock onto/into each other. Similar to a knurled piece of wood, rock or metal locking into another of the same. In this case, the knurling would be protuberances and ditches on surfaces.
If they had both been spherical, then if as they moved toward each other slowly, they would have glanced off each other and not connected as they have.

Of course, there is also a possibility that it is a "spacecraft" that is built of natural rocky materials and ice that could stand the rigors and temperatures of outer space. They are referring to it as a "distant world: and "Small World". Why did they decide to do that when its dimensions are so tiny?
torbjorn_b_g_larsson
4 / 5 (8) Feb 10, 2019
Seeing the aggregation process, the flat shape of the main bodies could be explained that they too were accreted binaries, et cetera.

I am not sure the alignment of the axes are significant, we need to see more of these objects. The spin axis was unlikely oriented vs the flyby, so we had already run out of surprises (I kid)!

Without a doubt one of the most disappointing flybys ever.


So discovering something unexpected and never seen before, which furthermore promise to "motivate new theories of planetesimal formation in the early solar system", is not enough for you?

Life is not a Hollywood movie, and you will find very few interested in the universe that will agree with you.

If they had both been spherical, then if as they moved toward each other slowly, they would have glanced off each other and not connected as they have.


I don't think that is correct, contact (or at least suspected contact) binaries have been seen before.
carbon_unit
3.3 / 5 (7) Feb 10, 2019
Scott Manley has a great take on this: https://www.youtu...eVMXfsK4

Skylight: You clearly don't understand science. It is driven by evidence, wherever that may lead. Revisions happen - it's to be expected. (When one sticks to an early concept despite accumulating evidence to the contrary, we call that "religion".) We very early in the two year process of getting the information back from NH. Look up "preliminary". There are no goal posts, no invested positions. Actually, scientists love surprises like this.

Jonseer: This is scientific data collection. When it excites the public imagination, great! But that's not the goal. This is a secondary mission, not even part of the initial NH plan. UT is the first small Kuiper belt object to be closely examined. It is a bonus on a mission that' s already paid for.

SkyLight
5 / 5 (5) Feb 11, 2019
@c_u
You clearly don't understand science.
You're very clearly assuming too much. My remarks were addressed to proponents of the EU collection of unscientific nonsense: the clue is in the words
pretty much everything the EU says about anything is pure hogwash
A few weeks ago, apologists for the EU were claiming that, since spherical droplets can sometimes be sputtered off as by-products of electrical discharges impinging on certain materials in the lab, and since - in typical EU hand-waving fashion - they also claim that processes observed in the lab can be arbitrarily scaled up to fit whatever they wish them to fit, it was entirely "feasible" that the lobes of UT could also have been formed in a large-scale "cosmological sputtering process". No doubt resulting from huge discharges given off by the wheels of a chariot as some God does wheelies around the solar system.

So, flattened lobes != spherical lobes => no ridiculous cosmic sputtering. Typical EU fail.
granville583762
3 / 5 (2) Feb 11, 2019
A Planetary Conspiracy

Oumuamua and now Ultima Thule in Size Zero
both these lumps of rock
are the semblance of planet formation
these two planetoids defy the standard model of planet formation
one would not look out of place in an alian saloon as a savannah cigar
where the others could be used to skim over the pond
as of yet
while we kick our planets out our the club of planets
while in the same breath cannot explain what a planet is and how it forms
however which way - it's a Pluto conspiracy
as now we are lost for words
because
Ultima Thule in Size Zero has impact craters
and as its mass incrementally compounds
it time
this planet committee will look at Ultima Thule in Size Zero edge on
and
proclaim its cleared its orbit, this pancakes a planet
because
Ultima Thule in Size Zero is growing while maintaining it flattened planetoid
jonesdave
3 / 5 (4) Feb 11, 2019
^^^^WTF is your native language? It sure as hell isn't English.
Surveillance_Egg_Unit
1.6 / 5 (7) Feb 11, 2019
^^^^WTF is your native language? It sure as hell isn't English.


granville speaks far better English than you - where at least young people who read granville's comments are not in danger of learning how to talk trash as you do.
SkyLight
4.6 / 5 (9) Feb 12, 2019
granville speaks far better English than you
You mean like this:
it time this planet committee will look at Ultima Thule in Size Zero edge on and proclaim its cleared its orbit, this pancakes a planet because Ultima Thule in Size Zero is growing while maintaining it flattened planetoid.
or this:
Ultima Thule turned end on then Ultima Thule became size zero they're adhered by being frozen together as in Frozen!, though its thoughtful they've seen the movie! so specially for Ultima Thule The cold never bothered me any way
Yep, his command of the English language is ... remarkable. He writes like a native. Just not a native of any English-speaking nation...
Surveillance_Egg_Unit
1.7 / 5 (6) Feb 12, 2019
@Skylight
Perhaps your expectations of perfection are too high, and your memory loss has begun to overwhelm any appreciation that you might have had that as humans age in years, quite often their fingers don't always do what is expected on the keyboard.
Also, perhaps you may want to be aware of your own possible typing mistakes when your SpellCheck has typed a word which you had not intended.
I have no problem understanding what granville has typed - his ideas come across just fine.
I have had to query rrwillsj a few times, however, in regard to why he sports a question mark in the middle of a sentence rather than a comma. He then presented me with about 15 commas in a row for my perusal.
My own typing skills have been found wanting on occasion, so that I am far more tolerant of idiosyncrasies from others as I would expect them to be tolerant of mine.
You might wish to follow that rule also.
Obviously, granville was referring to the movie, "Frozen" in connection with UT.
SkyLight
5 / 5 (7) Feb 13, 2019
Nobody here cares about your typing skills, nor what you think of others' command of the English language or of their attempts to write concisely or clearly enough to get their message across.

What matters is the message itself, not the medium (pace McLuhan) - this is a public forum dedicated to discussions of science, and is open to people of all abilities, breadth and depth of scientific knowledge. As is usual in any such public arena, there will be disagreements on the value or meaning of any announcement of new scientific results or ideas.

What is not up for grabs is science itself, which has proven itself time and again, and which represents the most successful endeavor - philosophically and practically - the world has ever seen. If anybody does have a problem with "mainstream" science, and wish to propose alternative scientific "theories", they should be prepared to provide sufficient evidence and math (that's how science works) in support of their ideas.

[TBC]
SkyLight
5 / 5 (6) Feb 13, 2019
[continued]

Otherwise, they can expect to receive demands for such evidence and math. Should these basics not be forthcoming (the EU being a classic case in this regard), they can also expect eventually to be shot down in flames and exposed for the amateur posers and scientific wannabe's that they are. And who here is qualified for such an undertaking? - none other than the scientists themselves, University-trained, educated for years in the philosophy, practice and methodology of science, and who can spot an imposter at several hundred paces.

And I can assure you that several REAL scientists do visit this forum regularly, to catch up on latest scientific results, and who often try to do their level best to keep order in this at times unruly forum. This often proves to be a challenge (sigh: a sign of the times) especially when the wannabe's gang up and shout as loud and as long as they possibly can in order to drown out the voices of qualified scientists.

[TBC]
SkyLight
4.4 / 5 (7) Feb 13, 2019
[continued]

And YOU @seu, are one of the wannabe's, as are @Benni, @granville, @cd, @RC, @Tuxford, @wssducks, and a whole host of others so obviously lacking in knowledge of that which matters here: science and the scientific method. It needs also to be re-stated here, as so often in the past, that science is not a word-based discipline, with a bit of math tacked on for show; it's first and foremost a math- and numbers-based discipline, to which words may be added in an attempt to make it perhaps a little more comprehensible for non-scientists.

Knowledge of science is predicated on a sufficient command of the math used to formulate the science; otherwise, one has only the words to go on, and the words are not sufficient in themselves to provide more than a sketchy understanding of what the science is all about.

So, brazenly spouting quasi-scientific strings of words which do not correspond to any science as understood by scientists will get short shrift here. Capisce?
TheGhostofOtto1923
5 / 5 (1) Feb 13, 2019
Roadkill snowman
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (3) Feb 13, 2019
@SkyLight.
And YOU @seu, are one of the wannabe's, as are @Benni, @granville, @cd, @RC, @Tuxford, @wssducks, and a whole host of others so obviously lacking in knowledge of that which matters here: science and the scientific method
Why include me, mate? I am the only independent, objective researcher here, and the only one actually being increasingly confirmed correct (on many fronts) by recent mainstream discovery/reviews of astro/cosmo/quantum physical phenomena. And why do you waste your time being a troll yourself, instead of actually catching up with mainstream discovery/reviews that confirm me correct all along on many science issues/understandings? Please try to exercise more discernment in future, and keep your mouth shut about me, especially since I am the one (not you or the 'gang') that is being confirmed correct all along, mate. Use your time and intellect to learn instead of trolling yourself like that. Good luck in your future choices, SL. :)
Ultron
not rated yet Feb 13, 2019

And YOU @seu, are one of the wannabe's, as are @Benni, @granville, @cd, @RC, @Tuxford, @wssducks, and a whole host of others so obviously lacking in knowledge of that which matters here: science and the scientific method. It needs also to be re-stated here, as so often in the past, that science is not a word-based discipline, with a bit of math tacked on for show; it's first and foremost a math- and numbers-based discipline, to which words may be added in an attempt to make it perhaps a little more comprehensible for non-scientists.


Science should be foremost based on facts, experiments and observations confirming theories. Unfortunately "mainstream" physics is to great extend based on math and not on facts, which lead to creation of such abominations like for example string theory, which never predicted and never will predict anything to be confirmed, yet mainstream popsci gurus make millions on it.
And billions are spent on bullshit like proving dark matter.
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (3) Feb 13, 2019
Anyhow, as for the above article/topic: I wonder if these are 'magnetite' containing objects. If they are, and if the magnetite content is of the LODESTONE type which can be naturally magnetised by strong natural magnetic fields, then SOME of their unusual 'contact' feature may be explained by the respective magnetised 'lodestone' contents at those points making/maintaining contact as observed. Just a 'left field' thought. Cheers.
Ultron
not rated yet Feb 13, 2019
Im not sure, why is creation of such flat object impossible due to existing formation theory. It seems to me that fusion of two rotating objects would do the trick.
SkyLight
5 / 5 (6) Feb 14, 2019
@RC
Why include me, mate?
You know full well why, "mate": you've been told often enough by many here.

You're not interested in the focus of this forum which, need it be said, is science. Your sole interest in coming here and commenting is the promotion of yourself above all other matters and concerns.

Your endless claims to be "the only independent, objective researcher here, and the only one actually being increasingly confirmed correct" are not about the science, but rather about the one subject which totally consumes you: namely, yourself.

You show repeatedly every sign of being a megalomaniac and narcissicist and seek constantly to change the subject of forum threads to concentrate on you and your nonexistent "achievements".

You regularly demonstrate an abysmal lack of understanding of science and refuse to listen to people who are actually trained and educated in science.

You say "keep your mouth shut about me" - ain't going to happen, "mate"
SkyLight
5 / 5 (5) Feb 14, 2019
@Ultron - your remarks are peppered with the latest and grooviest internet memes concerning science, and contribute precisely nothing to the discussion. Those memes are wrong in every respect, but in these days of fake news and fake science and of stultifying ignorance of pretty much everything, their proponents - i.e. you - don't seem to let facts get in the way of a good story.

As demonstration of your own lack of understanding of scientific objectivity and of science in general, we only have to look at your statement
Im not sure, why is creation of such flat object impossible due to existing formation theory. It seems to me that fusion of two rotating objects would do the trick.
which is on a par with the vapid utterances of Velikovsky with his dancing planets, or of the EU in general. In other words, a complete lack of understanding of science permits you to utter inanities.

So, you're on the list too.
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (3) Feb 14, 2019
@SkyLight.
Why include me, mate?
You know full well why, "mate": you've been told often enough by many here.
You mean the same "many here" trolls who FELL hook-line-and-sinker for that Bicep2 crap despite my cautions? Or those trolls who keep bot-voting the PERSON '1' irrespective of the correctness of the science posted? You mean THOSE "many here", mate? lol
You're not interested in the focus of this forum which, need it be said, is science. Your sole interest in coming here and commenting is the promotion of yourself above all other matters and concerns.
On the contrary, I have taken all 'sides' to task for feuding/insulting instead of sticking strictly to the topic science/logics. :)
Your endless claims to be "the only independent, objective researcher here, and the only one actually being increasingly confirmed correct"...
That 'reminder' is only in self-defence against baseless/lying troll attacks; it would not be necessary at all otherwise. :)
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (3) Feb 14, 2019
ps @SkyLight.

As for the science/topic, I posted something just yesterday. Have you any comment re that 'left field' thought? Thanks.
SkyLight
5 / 5 (2) Feb 17, 2019
trolls who FELL hook-line-and-sinker for that Bicep2 crap despite my cautions?
Immediately following the leak of the Bicep2 results back in 2014, many in the scientific community disputed those findings, citing measurements of polarization due to galactic dust. Your contribution to the discussion was this: you picked up on what these dissenters said and you ran with it. And you're still running with it in 2019, claiming some kind of ascendancy over others in this forum, solely by virtue of having copied what others were saying at the time. Big f**ing deal.
I have taken all 'sides' to task for feuding/insulting instead of sticking strictly to the topic science/logics
No, what you've been doing, and will continue to do, is to appoint yourself forum moderator in a further effort to get noticed and to gain ascendancy over others. Your narcissistic self-aggrandizing tactics are very clear - you're fooling nobody.
SkyLight
5 / 5 (1) Feb 17, 2019
I posted something just yesterday. Have you any comment re that 'left field' thought?
Alarm bells rang when I read your post, which displays all the hallmarks of pure, disconnected supposition. It's the kind of thing an innocent eleven-year old might propose.

Without going into wearisome detail, your "thought" is as full of holes as a sieve. Basically, you posit the existence of magnetite without explaining where that should come from: meteorites for instance contain very little magnetite: it needs high temperatures to form. Cosmic dust, for instance, conatins no magnetite.

You also posit the existence of "strong magnetic fields" to magnetize the material to lodestone levels: again, where are strong magnetic fields to be found? If you say planets or stars, then you have to explain the orbits of UT and similar bodies. Similarly, you must explain how UT's lobes have concentrations of lodestone conveniently placed at their edges.

[TBC]
SkyLight
5 / 5 (1) Feb 17, 2019
[continued]

Then there's the question of how the supposed concentrations of magnetite/lodestone in UT's lobes have significant systematically aligned magnetic fields in order to exercise any meaningful attraction on a nearby body containing similar deposits? What physical processes would give rise to such never-before observed phenomena?

How is UT's density affected by the presence of magnetite deposits? No information has yet been published on the overall density of UT, which would in any case be subject to a considerable degree of imprecision: can you explain why that would be?

Your proposal isn't worth carrying around in a slop bucket. It displays a total lack of scientific knowledge, insight, rigor, and of the scientific instinct which would prevent a scientist from proposing such an unworkable scenario.

Better to stick to writing your soon-to-be (never) published TOE which will rock the scientific establishment to its' foundations. NOT.
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (2) 21 hours ago
@SkyLight.

Whoa there, matey! It was just a 'left field' thought (you know, a HYPOTHESIS....like BB, INFLATION/EXPANSION, DE, DM 'hypotheses'). And I didn't say it explained ALL the contact parameters/dynamics etc; I explicitly SAID:
SOME of their unusual 'contact' feature may be explained by the respective magnetised 'lodestone' contents at those points making/maintaining contact as observed
So please calm down, SL. Read/think things through properly; instead of reacting in so PERSONALLY PREJUDICED a way that effectively makes you unfit to call yourself a 'scientist'. Ok? :)

Anyhow, the dynamics may have involved many stages in a field of debris where close proximity was forced by myriad interaction within the cloud of debris. And the 'magnetic' aspect may be one of the near-body phase causes of the contact surviving as observed. Until we DO know what transpired etc in the lifetime of this body to date, you cannot just assume or rule in/out things. Be objective. :)

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