A New Year’s Flyby
A billion miles past Pluto, at 12:33 a.m. EST tonight on New Year’s Day, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will swoop in close to the most distant object humans will have ever visited. For just a moment, the craft will fly within 2,200 miles (3,540 km) of Ultima Thule, a primitive space rock from the Kuiper Belt far beyond Neptune.
This will be over three times closer than the craft flew to Pluto, according to New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern.
If New Horiz