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LOS ANGELES Jake DeBrusk Womens Jersey , July 8 (Xinhua) -- Data collected on NASA's New Horizons spacecraft's second flyby target indicate that the object in Kuiper Belt may be different than previously thought.

Located about 1 billion miles beyond Pluto, which New Horizons flew by in `July 2015, the Kuiper Belt object (KBO), known as 2014 MU69, was discovered in June 2014 by scientists using the Hubble Space Telescope.

One month after the Pluto flyby, 2014 MU69 was officially selected as the New Horizons' next target, to be visited on Jan. 1, 2019 Charlie McAvoy Womens Jersey , for an extended mission.

The KBO quickly passed in front of a star, an astronomical event known as an occultation, on June 3 and will occult two other stars on July 10 and July 17.

To catch a two-second glimpse of the object's shadow as it raced across the Earth, more than 50 mission team researchers set up telescopes on June 3 across South Africa and Argentina, along a predicted track of MU69's shadow.

According to NASA, accomplishing the observations of that occultation was made possible with the help of HST and Gaia, a space observatory of the European Space Agency.

Together, scientists captured more than 100 Tim Schaller Womens Jersey ,000 images of the occultation star that can be used to assess the environment around MU69.

These data show that MU69 might be smaller and brighter than previously thought. Based primarily on data taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, initial estimates of MU69's diameter fall in the 20-40-kilometer range.

"The fact that we accomplished the occultation observations from every planned observing site but didn't detect the object itself likely means that either MU69 is highly reflective and smaller than some expected, or it may be a binary or even a swarm of smaller bodies left from the time when the planets in our solar system formed," New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern, of Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, said in a statement.

More data are on the way. On July 10, NASA will use its powerful 100-inch (2.5-meter) telescope to probe the space around MU69 for debris that might present a hazard to New Horizons as it flies by in 18 months. On July 17 Torey Krug Womens Jersey , the Hubble Space Telescope also will check for debris around MU69.

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