Good afternoon. Today's PM is in holiday mode, with a short big thing and a quick recap of the news. Have a relaxing rest of your day.
New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern celebrates with school children at the exact moment that the New Horizons spacecraft made the closest approach of Kuiper Belt object Ultima Thule. Photo: Bill Ingalls/NASA via AP
Three months after NASA sent the first spacecraft to Pluto, it has successfully flown by an object in the Kuiper Belt, man's next great frontier.
Why it matters: "Thirteen years and more than four billion miles [after launching a voyage to Pluto], New Horizons has provided humanity’s first glimpse of a distant fragment that could be unchanged from the solar system’s earliest days," the N.Y. Times notes.
The big picture: There are thought to be hundreds of thousands of objects like Ultima Thule in the Kuiper Belt.
What's next: Expect to see more images and data from Ultima Thule later Tuesday and over the next 20 months. It takes about six hours for data to be transmitted one way back to Earth at 1,000 bits per second.
Go deeper: Axios' deep dive on space
Above: Brave and hardy souls jump into the icy waters of Carnlough Harbor in Carnlough, Northern Ireland. The annual swim raises money and awareness by the Ballymena Spina Bifida Association and has been going strong for over forty years.
Below: A tow truck tries to move the Chinese American Heritage Foundation float during the 130th Rose Parade. The parade was briefly interrupted when the float celebrating U.S. railroad heritage broke down and erupted in smoke.
Photo: Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations, via AP
In subzero weather, Russian emergency workers pulled a year-old baby from the rubble of a collapsed apartment building today, the AP reports.