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.
"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. 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.
The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has announced that its New Horizons spacecraft has recently taken the farthest ever images from Earth, breaking a previous record set by Voyager 1's "Pale Blue Dot" taken in 1990.
The images for "Pale Blue Dot" - part of a composite - were taken 3.75 billion miles (6.06 billion kilometers) away.
Since then, no spacecraft has been in a position to break Voyager 1's record - until now.
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 lovely photos as a result.
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Voyager 1 captured these images at a distance of 3.75 billion miles (6.06 billion km) from Earth.
They will also use LORRI to search the vicinity of MU69 for any objects that could potentially be hazardous to the spacecraft, such as moons, rings, and other debris.
New Horizons flew past Pluto in 2015.
In fact, New Horizons broke the record twice in quick succession, first snapping a shot of a group of distant stars called the Wishing Well, around 1,300 light-years away from our planet. NASA said New Horizons is in the hibernation mode now, awaiting its next adventure due January.
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. "And now, we've been able to make images farther from Earth than any spacecraft in history". She is a member of the Cranford, NJ-based Amateur Astronomers, Inc.
Flight controllers at a Johns Hopkins University lab in Laurel, Maryland, will awaken the spacecraft in June and begin preparing it for the flyby.