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Space Image of the Day Gallery (December 2018)

Next Stop: Ultima Thule!

NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Monday, December 31, 2018:NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is gearing up for its New Year's Eve flyby of the distant Kuiper Belt object MU69, also known as Ultima Thule. The probe, which flew by Pluto in 2015, will swing by Ultima Thule at 12:33 a.m. EST (0533 GMT) on Jan. 1, and you can watch the flyby live online. New Horizons captured this view of the distant object on Dec. 24, when Ultima Thule was 6.3 million miles (10 million kilometers) away from the spacecraft. — Hanneke Weitering

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Space.com Staff
Space.com Staff

Space.com is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. Originally founded in 1999, Space.com is, and always has been, the passion of writers and editors who are space fans and also trained journalists. Our current news team consists of Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik; Editor Hanneke Weitering, Senior Space Writer Mike Wall; Senior Writer Meghan Bartels; Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd, Senior Writer Tereza Pultarova and Staff Writer Alexander Cox, focusing on e-commerce. Senior Producer Steve Spaleta oversees our space videos, with Diana Whitcroft as our Social Media Editor.