Where is New Horizons? Track comet flyby*!

The New Horizons space probe is on it's way to visit a comet outside the solar system. The comet was called Ultima Thule after an internet naming contest (it's scientific designation is 2014MU69). New Horizons will fly by on Jan 1, 2019. This site allows you to track it's progress and see what can't be seen with the normal eye through the simulation.

Where is NASA's New Horizons now?

New Horizons space craft is -- days and -- hours from it's visit to Ultima Thule. This will be one of the few times a space probe gets it's eyes on one of these comets that cirle the sun. It is 13,840,556 (8,766,273) from rendezvous. Every second it gets 14.5 (14.5) closer to this space object.

The current speed of the space probe 50,827 km/h (50,827 km/h) and of the comet is 16,554 km/h (10,000). It is the farthest object in the Solar System ever to be visited by a spacecraft. Since last night New Horizons got 531,068 km (331,918 mi) further from the asteroid. Since you started looking at this page it has travelled 0 km (0 mi).

New Horizons Ultima Thula comet 2014MU69 visit NASA Ultima Thule emerges from behind stars and grows brighter as the spacecraft approaches it. The first image snapped on August 16th. In between bright background stars, the spacecraft has spotted its target! This is important as it helps the team refine the spacecraft's course to get close to Ultima Thule.

Will it hit or miss comet Ultima Thula?

Currently New Horizons will miss the planet by 3,500 km (2,175 Mi) on Tue, Jan 1, 2019, 5:33 UTC on the current course. The idea is to get as close as possible. For that the space craft's trajectory needs to be corrected. In October, the space crafts thrusters will be fired to correct it's path. If the NASA team succeeds the probe will fly by Ultima Thule at a distance of about 3,500 km. This is as good as next door in space terms as New Horizons travelled 6,611,099,571 km to get there! The space probe will point its instruments and cameras to Ultima Thule taking quality images of this 45km rock of space during the spectacular fly-by around New Year's Eve.

New Horizons Ultima Thule Flyby Timeline New Horizons Ultima Thule 2014 MU69 Operations timeline

Data from NASA JPL HORIZONS database for solar system objects.

Photo Credit and other: NASA, ESO/S. Brunier, NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI, NASA/Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Laboratory/Henry Throop


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Data provided by NASA/JPL CNEOS


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