Lowell Observatory

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

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft beamed back the first close-up image of its target, Ultima Thule, revealing it’s a “contact binary”—two space rocks stuck together. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

This is the most primitive contact binary ever explored by a spacecraft. It likely formed four and a half billion years ago by a process called “accretion.” Particles of rock and rubble melded into two round objects, which then slowly spiraled together until they stuck.  

NASA

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, which visited Pluto three years ago, flew by another frozen world in the outer regions of the solar system last night. Ultima Thule is now the most distant object ever visited by a spacecraft. Will Grundy of Flagstaff’s Lowell Observatory is one of the scientists involved. He spoke with KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny from mission control in Maryland.

NASA

Late last night, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flew by a small icy object at the edge of the solar system. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, it’s now the most distant object ever visited by a spacecraft.


In the 19th century the United States was not yet a nation of scientists. But when a total solar eclipse swept the western frontier in 1878, astronomers rushed to prove they could make a mark on the world with new inventions and startling discoveries. Eclipse chaser and former NPR correspondent David Baron tells that story in his latest book American Eclipse. He spoke with KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny.


Courtesy of Lucky Lenny

Tonight Flagstaff kicks off a yearlong party leading up to next year’s 50th anniversary of the first Apollo moon landing. Every astronaut who ever walked on the Moon spent time training here. Part of tonight’s celebration is a performance by the band Lucky Lenny. They will perform a bluegrass version of Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon.”  In the latest installment of Eats and Beats, we hear musician Shawn Dennehy talk about reimagining the iconic 1973 album.


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