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Tags Current Affairs

Renaming of Ultima Thule

Date: 14 November 2019 Tags: Space


Ultima Thule, the farthest cosmic body ever visited by a spacecraft, has been renamed Arrokoth, following a backlash over the previous name's Nazi connection.



The icy rock, which orbits in the dark and frigid Kuiper Belt about a billion miles beyond Pluto, was surveyed by the NASA spaceship New Horizons in January, with images showing it consisted of two spheres stuck together in the shape of a snowman.



  • Its technical designation is 2014 MU69, but the New Horizon team nicknamed it Ultima Thule after a mythical northern land in classical and medieval European literature described as beyond the borders of the known world.

  • That name sparked an angry reaction as it was co-opted by far-right German occultists in the early 20th century as the fabled ancestral home of “Aryan” people.

Ultima Thule (Arrokoth)

  • Arrokoth,  provisional designation 2014 MU69 and nicknamed Ultima Thule at the time of the New Horizons flyby, is a trans-Neptunian object located in the Kuiper belt.

  • Arrokoth became the farthest and most primitive object in the Solar System visited by a spacecraft.

New Horizons mission

  • New Horizons is an interplanetary space probe that was launched as a part of NASA's New Frontiers program.

  • The spacecraft was launched in 2006 with the primary mission to perform a flyby study of the Pluto system in 2015, and a secondary mission to fly by and study one or more other Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) in the decade to follow, which became a mission to  Arrokoth.

  • The New Horizons spacecraft is now at the outer edges of the Kuiper Belt that extends from the orbit of Neptune, and will join Voyager 1 and 2 beyond the Sun's sphere of influence and into interstellar space.

Renaming of Ultima Thule Daily Current Affairs 14 nov

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