This One Gif Is Better Than Anything Else You’ll See Today

This one gif is better than any you can show me on the Internet. I guarantee it. Maintain your weird cats or dancing hot dogs. This cant be beat.

Whats it presenting? This is the moment that the next target for NASAs New Horizons mission, a small stone in the outer Solar system, passed in front of a starring as seen from Earth.

The event in the early morning of July 17 lasted a split-second, but it will give us more information about this rock than weve ever gleaned before. All from the shadow that was casting over our planet.

It was the most historic occultation on the face of the Earth, NASAs director of planetary science, Jim Green, told the team in a statement.

The Kuiper Belt Object( KBO) is called 2014 MU69. It measures roughly 22 to 40 kilometers( 14 to 25 miles) across, but we dont know for sure because its so far away and swooning. It orbits 40 times further from the Sun than Earth.

We also dont truly know what it looks like. Its thought to be leftover from the formation of our Solar System 4.6 billion years ago, but its exact characteristics are a mystery. Some artists impressions demonstrate it as a reddish place, other estimations say it will seem more like a grey asteroid.

Watch the star in the middle as MU69 passes in front of it.NASA/ JHUAPL/ SwRI

New Horizons will be flying past the object on January 1, 2019. Before then, the team want to get as much data on MU69 as is practicable, which is why these events known as occultations are so important.

This was the third occultation to occur, after previous events on June 3 and 10. On this event, at least five mobile telescopes in Argentina are thought to have ensure the shadow of the object as it passed over Earth, from which data is likely to be gleaned. Other telescopes also find the shadow, including NASAs mobile flying observatory, SOFIA.

Alan Stern, the principal investigator on the New Horizons mission, told IFLScience that they expected to have the first results from these events in a few weeks.

We snooped the shape and size of 2014 MU69 for the first time, a Kuiper Belt scientific rich we will explore merely over 17 months from now, he said in a statement. Thanks to this success we can now plan the upcoming flyby with much more confidence.

“We did it! ” he added. Jolly good.

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