03:34 GMT +309 December 2019
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    One artist’s concept of Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69, the next flyby target for NASA’s New Horizons mission

    Planet Dung: Columnist Offers Absurd Viewpoint on Ultima Thule ‘Space Snowman’

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    A bored columnist from a New Zealand website has come up with an unexpected take on a big recent discovery in space.

    Ultima Thule, a twin rock floating far out in the Kuiper Belt, has become one of two of the biggest space-related sensations in recent times, alongside China's lunar probe landing on the far side of the Moon.

    Located some 6.5 billion kilometers from the Sun, the eight-side asteroid by the unwieldy name of (486958) 2014 MU69, looks as if two separate bodies were glued on to each other, and has been dubbed by some astronomers as the "space snowman."

    Jane Bowron, a columnist from New Zealand's ‘Stuff' website, however, has provided a different analogy.

    "Holidaying proctologists wanting to take a break from the curious collections of the colon would have taken one look at the gigantic space turd and sadly shaken their heads thinking they were on a busman's holiday, and there was no getting away from it," she writes.

    Yes, Bowron just called Ultima Thule a space turd. And she has a story behind it.

    According to Bowron, if there are aliens out there, they could have researched humans very well already — and decided it's better to keep us away from their civilized society.

    Curiously, by the word of Bowron, it is not nuclear weapons tests conducted on our own planet that made aliens perceive us as Silly Asses, but rather American sci-fi sitcoms, such as Mork and Mindy and 3rd Rock from the Sun.

    And what would be a better way to repel the unwanted invaders than to throw a giant poo?

    "Hours, or light years, of alien research would have deduced that humans are repelled by close proximity to their own waste products," Bowron writes, noting immediately that the plan has gone horribly wrong.

    "Imagine their confusion when the aliens observed the support crew back at Nasa base camp yelping with delight at an image of their own excrement."

    Considering aliens are most likely not acquainted with the Emperor's New Clothes tale, they most likely think that we as a species are appropriately depraved, watching as scientists at NASA high-five each other over this kind of discovery. How does the old Andersen's tale play in? Well, this way:

    "Seeing the giant poo in space would have been too much for Earthlings, who don't want to admit what they see, because if they did it would make them appear stupid — that the joke was on them."

    If it were not aliens throwing feces at New Horizons spacecraft to keep it away, then the only plausible explanation to the entire thing, Bowron writes, is that it is a hoax designed to deflect our attention from the success of the Chinese mission to the moon.

    If so, she says, the support crew back at NASA "are badly in need of a do-up."

    "Scientists sitting in curved rows and high-fiving each other doesn't cut it any more. We've seen the same dreary back-at-base set since the Apollo expeditions to the moon when Jack Swigert said: ‘Houston, we've had a problem,'" she writes.

    Clearly, Bowron is disappointed with the celebration of the farthest photographed space object ever, comparing the hype around newly-obtained images to slides that New Zealand workers used to bring home from their Overseas Experience — a local name for an extended holiday or working period away from their home island — when an entire family would close all the curtains and gather around a projector to view the photographic record of the journey.

    Equally as disappointing is her suggestion for how Planet Turd should have appeared instead: somehow, Bowron believes we would have been repelled by an asteroid that looks like a giant plastic bag.

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    Ultima Thule, article, asteroid, opinion, NASA, Space, New Zealand
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