First Color Image of Arrokoth (2014 MU69)

Three views of the object showing how color data was overlaid on a higher resolution view to create the color view
January 2, 2019
CreditNASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
Historical DateJanuary 1, 2019
  • english

Update November 2019: 2014 MU69 has been officially named Arrokoth.

The first color image of Ultima Thule, taken at a distance of 45,601 miles (73,388 kilometerers) at 4:08 Universal Time on January 1, 2019, highlights its reddish surface.

At left is an enhanced color image taken by the Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC), produced by combining the near infrared, red and blue channels.

The center image taken by the Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) has a higher spatial resolution than MVIC by approximately a factor of five.

At right, the color has been overlaid onto the LORRI image to show the color uniformity of the Ultima and Thule lobes. Note the reduced red coloring at the neck of the object.