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Scientists show off space snowman, Ultima Thule, in 3D

This Tuesday image made available by NASA shows the Kuiper belt object Ultima Thule, about 1 billion miles beyond Pluto, encountered by the New Horizons spacecraft.
This Tuesday image made available by NASA shows the Kuiper belt object Ultima Thule, about 1 billion miles beyond Pluto, encountered by the New Horizons spacecraft. (NASA via AP)

The newly visited space snowman — the most distant object ever explored — is now appearing in 3D.

At a news conference in Laurel on Thursday, scientists and others put on 3D glasses to see the two-sphered cosmic body in stereo, revealing possible curvy ridges. It is still not showing any signs of craters, moons or rings, however.

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Photos taken earlier this week by NASA's spacecraft New Horizons revealed that Ultima Thule (TOO-lee) has two reddish balls joined like a snowman. It is 4 billion miles (6.4 billion kilometers) from Earth.

Brian May, an astrophysicist better known as a guitarist with the rock band Queen, created the stereo images. He joined in the New Year's Day flyby festivities at Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory.

Ultima Thule, the distant object NASA's New Horizons spacecraft explored on New Year's Day, is actually a pair of spheres that have been fused together by gravity, scientists revealed Wednesday. The Johns Hopkins-led mission could already be helping to confirm theories about how the planets formed.

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