NASA breaks record for pictures taken farthest from Earth

For a short time this New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager frame of the

For a short time this New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager frame of the"Wishing Well star cluster taken Dec. 5 was the farthest image ever made by a spacecraft breaking a record set by Voyager 1. About two hours later New Horizons

The photo surpassed the "Pale Blue Dot" images of Earth taken in 1990 by NASA's Voyager 1. Since then it's been heading into the Kuiper Belt, and will carry out a flyby of Kuiper Belt object (KBO) 2014 MU69 in January 2019. At the time of shooting the space station was at a distance of 6.12 billion kilometers from Earth.

At a distance of 3.79 billion miles from Earth, New Horizons recorded a picture of a star cluster this past December.

The Nasa spacecraft that made close-ups of Pluto has set a record for the farthest photos ever taken.

New Horizons is the first spacecraft NASA is flying past Pluto at close range. They were the last photographs the probe took before its cameras were shut down.

The new record-breaking photos show two Kuiper Belt objects, 2012 HZ84 and 2012 HE85.


The mission also broke a record that has been stagnant since 1990, when the Voyager 1 spacecraft sent back a final capture of Earth before the cameras on the craft were lost.

The spacecraft, which conducted a historic flyby of Pluto in July 2015, is now in its extended mission, which also involves distant observations of at least 24 objects, including dwarf planets, KBOs, and centaurs.

"New Horizons has always been a mission of firsts", the mission's principle investigator Alan Stern said, "First to explore Pluto, first to explore the Kuiper Belt, fastest spacecraft ever launched". This image is, for now, one of the farthest pictures from Earth ever captured by a spacecraft. Mission scientists study the images to determine the objects' shapes and surface properties, and to check for moons and rings.

Only the fifth spacecraft to travel beyond the solar system's gas giant planets, after Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, New Horizons is now continuously measuring plasma, dust, and neutral gas in its environment.

For now, though, New Horizons is now enjoying some well-deserved hibernation as it hurtles away from us at a rate of roughly 700,000 miles a day. She is a member of the Cranford, NJ-based Amateur Astronomers, Inc. Mission controllers at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, will bring the spacecraft out of its electronic slumber on June 4th and begin a series of system checkouts and other activities to prepare New Horizons for the MU69 encounter.

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