NASA's New Horizons Spacecraft Captures Record-Breaking Images

NASA probe “New Horizons” snaps farthest-ever photo from Earth

New Horizons first broke Voyager's photo-distance record on December 5, 2017, with an image of the "Wishing Well" star cluster, which it shot as part of a routine calibration process when it was 3.79 billion miles from Earth.

That image has held the record for the farthest ever taken away from Earth-until now.

The image, which to the naked eye just looks like an eery green glow in between some cloud looking things, is actually something much cooler.

Two hours later, New Horizons has already beaten his own record by making color photographs of two Kuiper Belt objects (2012 HZ84 and 2012 HE85).

'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. This image is, for now, one of the farthest pictures from Earth ever captured by a spacecraft.

New Horizons flew past Pluto in 2015.

Until now, the photo was taken farther away from Earth than any image ever, a record that stood for more than 27 years.

According to a statement by NASA, the probe snapped a false-color image of a group of stars known as "Wishing Well" on December 5, 2017 while it was 6.12 billion km away from Earth and en route to the Kuiper Belt, a circumstellar disk surrounding the solar system.




But the New Horizons photos are a worthwhile reminder that as technology improves, and as NASA probes and crafts work their way deeper and deeper into space, there's going to be a wealth of interesting, engrossing, and attractive photos as a result.

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.

Anyone who's passionate about astronomy and outer space knows that few things can compare to the grandeur and beauty of deep space photography, and on that front, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is doing great work.

Were you impressed by New Horizons' achievement? It is now about 41 times as far from Earth as Earth is from the sun.

NASA also plans for the spacecraft to observe at least two-dozen other KBOs, dwarf planets, and Centaurs - the former KBOS in unstable orbits that cross the orbits of giant planets.

New Horizons is now in electronic hibernation.

Launched in 2006, New Horizons is headed toward 2014 MU69, an icy world 1 billion miles beyond Pluto. It's headed toward an even closer encounter with another icy world, 1 billion miles (1.6 billion kilometers) beyond Pluto, on January 1, 2019.

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