New Horizons Snaps Farthest Image Ever Taken From Earth

New Horizons Snaps Farthest Image Ever Taken From Earth

This was after the spacecraft took the famous "Pale Blue Dot" photo at a distance of 3.75 billion miles away from Earth.

NASA writes that the photos were captured by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) camera on its New Horizons interplanetary space probe, which performed a flyby of Pluto in 2015.

New Horizons broke its own record just two hours later with images of two Kuiper Belt objects - 2012 HZ84 and 2012 HE85 - further demonstrating how nothing stands still when you're covering more than 700,000 miles (1.1 million km) of space each day. NASA says mission controllers will "bring the spacecraft out of its electronic slumber" this coming summer in anticipation of its next major close encounter, with an object known as 2014 MU69 on January 1, 2019. These pictures show two objects in the Kuiper Belt, the so-called twilight zone on the fringes of our solar system.

Image of the "Wishing Well" star cluster, taken December 5, 2017, which temporarily broke the 27-year record set by Voyager 1. However, an image captured by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft just smashed Voyager 1's achievement.

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New Horizons is just the fifth spacecraft that goes through the heights of our solar system and opens itself into the real huge universe.

The photo surpassed the "Pale Blue Dot" images of Earth taken by Voyager 1 back in 1990. These images once again broke the record for being the most distant images taken from Earth (again), but also set a new record for the closest-ever images ever taken of KBOs.

'New Horizons has always been a mission of firsts - first to explore Pluto, first to explore the Kuiper Belt, fastest spacecraft ever launched, ' said New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

It's not the first time New Horizons has managed an unprecedented feat.

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The probe then turned its attention to the distant Kuiper Belt. Besides analyzing MU69, New Horizons will also make observations of a dozen other objects including dwarf planets and "Centaurs", or objects with unstable orbits that float around in the Kuiper Belt.

Flight controllers at the lab will awaken the spacecraft in June (it's now in electronic hibernation) and start getting it ready for the flyby.

New Horizons took more photos as it sped deeper into the cosmos in December.

That flight past 2014 MU69 will be the farthest planetary encounter in history, happening one billion miles beyond the Pluto system.

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