New Horizons Captures The Farthest Image Ever Taken From Earth

Posted: Feb 10 2018, 3:47am CST | by , Updated: Feb 10 2018, 3:52am CST, in News | Latest Science News

 
New Horizons Captures the Farthest Images Ever Taken from Earth
Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft made history by capturing the "farthest image ever" from Earth

NASA’s New Horizon spacecraft recently taken record-breaking images in the Kuiper Belt.

On December 5, the spacecraft turned on its telescopic camera and caputered the photograph of a cluster of stars known as “Wishing Well.” At the time the image was taken the spacecraft was at a staggering 3.79 billion miles away from Earth, which makes it the farthest image ever made from Earth.

With that, New Horizons surpasses a record set by NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft. It was on Feb. 14, 1990, that the Voyager 1 spacecraft looked back at our solar system and snapped the famous “Pale Blue Dot” image. When the image was taken, the spacecraft was at a distance of 3.75 billion miles from Earth.

Launched in 2006, New Horizons spacecraft is designed to explore worlds at the our solar system. Although the main objective of New Horizons was to study Pluto and the Kuiper Belt of icy, rocky objects, the spacecraft first flew past the solar system's largest planet, Jupiter, in early 2007 - just a little over a year after launch.

During its mission, the spacecraft helped researchers answer basic questions about the surface properties, geology and interior makeup of these bodies. It also set a number of records along the way.

“New Horizons has long 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. “And now, we’ve been able to make images farther from Earth than any spacecraft in history.”

After its visit to Pluto, New Horizons is now heading towards its next target and will make a close encounter with a Kuiper Belt object named 2014 MU69 on January 1, 2019.

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