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NASA spaceship zooms toward farthest world ever photographed

A NASA spaceship is zooming toward the farthest, and quite possibly the oldest, cosmic body ever photographed by humankind, a tiny, distant world called Ultima Thule some four billion miles (6.4 billion km) away.

The US space agency will ring in the New Year with a live online broadcast to mark historic flyby of the mysterious object in a dark and frigid region of space known as the Kuiper Belt at 12.33am on Jan 1 (0533 GMT Tuesday).

A guitar anthem recorded by legendary Queen guitarist Brian May – who also holds an advanced degree in astrophysics – will be released just after midnight to accompany a video simulation of the flyby, as NASA commentators describe the close pass on the agency’s website.

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