NASA Exhibits the Most Distant Images Taken by a Spaceship

NASA farthest images from Earth New Horizons probe Kuiper Belt images Long Range Reconnaissance Imager NASA Voyager 1 solar system Kuiper Belt objects

The Voyager was 3.75 billion miles from Earth when that composite of 60 images looking back at the solar system was taken, and it's cameras were shut off shortly after.

The record was previously held by NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft, which snapped the image data for the famous "Pale Blue Dot" image on February 14, 1990.

Along the way, New Horizons broke the record for the farthest image captured away from our home planet.

New Horizons, in contrast, is just getting started.

Two hours later, LORRI looked at two objects in the Kuiper Belt, the ring of icy objects that New Horizons has been traveling through in the wake of its Pluto encounter.

Outlining the dwarf planet's geology and composition, along with details about the unexpected haze in the planet's atmosphere and its interaction with the solar winds, New Horizons has revolutionized scientists' and the world's understanding of Pluto.

NASA says the New Horizons spacecraft is "healthy" and is now in hibernation.

Since then, Voyager 1 hasn't taken any photos. Alan Stern, a planetary scientist at the Southwest Research Institute said, "New Horizons has always been a mission of firsts - first to explore Pluto, first to explore the Kuiper Belt, fastest spacecraft ever launched".

Those snapshots of the December 2012 KBO 2012 HZ84 and 2012 HE85 are so far the furthest ever captured by a spacecraft, and the closest to any body of Kuiper, the agency stressed in a statement.

New Horizons is slated to observe at least two dozen other objects in the Kuiper Belt, including dwarf planets and asteroid-like masses called Centaurs. He further said that now they have been able to make images farther from Earth than any spacecraft in history. And with the probe continuing to hurtle through space at a speed of 700,000 miles (1.1 million km) per day, it will continue to collect more and more distant views of the universe. Both are floating in the Kuiper Belt, an area on the edge of our solar system that NASA's spacecraft is now exploring.

NASA says its New Horizons spacecraft made an image using its telescopic camera to make an image 3.79 billion miles from Earth, which makes it the farthest one ever made from our planet. Or restarted. The probe is periodically in communication with the mission team as it closes in on its next target, a Kuiper Belt object (or perhaps even two paired objects) known as 2014 MU69.

It wasn't until this past December when Voyager 1's record was finally broken.



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