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New Horizons Mission

New Horizons spacecraft

Will Grudy and his fellow New Horizon mission scientists continue to analyze data from not only Pluto, but also Arrokoth. This bil-lobed body hasn’t changed much since it was formed. It owes its unscathed survival to its small size, only about 20 miles long, and the fact that it formed so far from the Sun, about 44 AU. These factors prevented Arrokoth from ever warming enough to melt internally, which would have caused its shape to collapse into something more spherical.  Its surface is barely even scarred by impact craters, unlike the battering suffered by comparably-sized objects in the asteroid belt.  The reason MU69 escaped such a fate is that at its distance from the Sun, there is little debris to collide with.  What little there is moves comparatively slowly, reducing the damage collisions can do.