New Horizons Snaps Farthest Image Ever Taken From Earth

New Horizons Snaps Farthest Image Ever Taken From Earth

About two hours later, New Horizons later broke the record again with images of Kuiper Belt objects 2012 HZ84 and 2012 HE85.

The previous record holder for the farthest picture was NASA's Voyager 1, which shot the famous "Pale Blue Dot" image of Earth on February 14, 1990.

But NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has now broken that record, sending back several photos from the Kuiper Belt, a region of the outer Solar System beyond Neptune.

On Earth, NASA's Deep Space Network antenna dishes catch the faint signals coming from New Horizons and reassemble the raw data into a usable form. In the middle of this year will start a monitoring campaign, the details of which we wrote earlier, and while New Horizons is in hibernation mode, which will last until June of this year.

According to NASA, New Horizons is now the fifth spacecraft to fly beyond the outer planets of our solar system.

At the time, New Horizons was 3.79 billion miles (6.12 billion kilometers) from Earth.

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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.

In 1990, the Voyager 1 spacecraft turned its camera toward Earth and took a famous photo called "The Pale Blue Dot" from 3.75 billion miles away. "The spacecraft also is making almost continuous measurements of the plasma, dust and neutral-gas environment along its path", it added. Considering that was an image of our own planet taken from afar, it figures that it'd probably remain the more popular and iconic of the two―humanity can be self-centered, after all, and the Kuiper Belt is remote.

"New Horizons just couldn't be better... we're bearing down on our flyby target", said lead scientist Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. These objects include dwarf planets like Pluto in far-out orbits of the sun and former KBOs in unstable orbits known as "Centaurs".

The photo handed out by NASA shows the unmanned probe, New Horizons, blasting off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, the United States, Jan. 19, 2006. (Pluto is one of these dwarf planets.) 2014 MU69 is almost a billion miles beyond Pluto, which itself is 4.67 billion miles (7.5 billion km) beyond Earth.

This image, taken by New Horizons on December 5, 2017, shows the "Wishing Well" Galactic open star cluster.

New Horizons covers more than 1.1 million km of space each day (KBO).

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