Scientists received the first pictures of the planetoid called Ultima Thule Tuesday.
The photos from NASA's New Horizon showed an irregular-shaped rock, and University of Arizona planetary scientist Veronica Bray says the data confirmed suspicions that Ultima Thule looked like a chicken drumstick, or a dirty snowman.
"More scientifically, it is a contact binary, so, two relatively small planetesimals impacted each other at such a low velocity that they didn't destroy one another, they merged," said Bray.
New Horizons made history by beaming back the first close-up pictures of Pluto in 2015. It flew just 3,500 kilometers past Ultima Thule. Mission controllers say the craft still has enough fuel to zoom by another object in the yet-unexplored Kuiper Belt, on the edge of the solar system.
In the early hours of New Year’s Day, @NASANewHorizons flew past #UltimaThule, an object located in a region of primordial objects 1 billion miles past Pluto. Join us live from @JHUAPL today at 2pm ET as we explore the latest science from the spacecraft: https://t.co/oJKHgKpQjH pic.twitter.com/6IMiS0XGNt— NASA (@NASA) January 2, 2019