Nasa spacecraft takes farthest ever image from Earth

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

A composite of 60 images, that image became known as the "Pale Blue Dot", made more famous by Carl Sagan's description of Earth as "a mote of dust suspended on a sunbeam". About two hours later, New Horizons later broke the record again.

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.

"New Horizons has always been a mission of firsts - first to explore Pluto, first to explore the Kuiper Belt, fastest spacecraft ever launched", Alan Stern, principal investigator of the New Horizons mission, released Thursday. 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.

The New Horizons spacecraft, which flew past Pluto in 2015, is now on its way out to the Kuiper Belt, the wide band of small pieces of rock and ice that encircles the solar system.

That image was made at a vantage point of 3.75 billion miles from Earth.

Voyager 1's cameras were turned off shortly after that portrait, leaving its distance record unchallenged for more than 27 years. It finished its primary mission with the Pluto flyby in 2015 and is now on an extended mission to explore the Kuiper Belt, helping the U.S. to complete its reconnaissance of our solar system.

On December 5, New Horizons trained its camera on the "Wishing Well" cluster of stars, followed by two objects in the Kuiper Belt - the massive band of rocks and dwarf planets on the outer fringes of the solar system, NPR reports. This image is, for now, one of the farthest pictures from Earth ever captured by a spacecraft.

Mission scientists plan to use images of these objects, captured by LORRI, to determine their shapes, sizes, and surface properties.

The picture shown above, a false-colour image of a Kuiper Belt object with the designation 2012 HZ84, is the most distant photo from Earth ever taken by a spacecraft. "The spacecraft also is making almost continuous measurements of the plasma, dust and neutral-gas environment along its path".

The New Horizons spacecraft is healthy and is now in hibernation.

New Horizons was launched on January 19, 2006.

Related:

Comments