NASA probe "New Horizons" snaps farthest-ever photo from Earth

NASA share farthest pic of Pluto from Earth 1222018

NASA probe "New Horizons" snaps farthest-ever photo from Earth

After the flight in 2015, it was decided in the period from 2016 to 2021 to explore the Kuiper belt, located at a distance of 30-55 astronomical units from the Sun and containing the body, remaining after the formation of the Solar system.

Now, it's reportedly snapped the farthest photo from Earth that's ever been taken. Then, mere hours later, it beat its own record with yet another photo from 3.79 billion miles away of celestial objects in the Kuiper Belt.

The space probe was even farther from home than NASA's Voyager 1 when it captured the famous "Pale Blue Dot" image of 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.

Until recently, the image captured farthest from Earth was the "pale blue dot" photo that the Voyager 1 spacecraft snapped before shutting off its cameras in 1990.

During more than a decade of cruising through space, New Horizons has already made several flybys of planets in our Solar System. But they're arguably among the most awesome photographic images ever.

New Horizons took more photos as it sped deeper into the cosmos in December.

"Mission scientists study the images to determine the objects' shapes and surface properties, and to check for moons and rings", the space agency says.

The New Horizons broke a 28-year-old record held by the Voyager 1. "The spacecraft also is making almost continuous measurements of the plasma, dust and neutral-gas environment along its path", it added.

'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. It is due to pass by an object there known as 2014 MU69 at the beginning of 2019.

Since that time, New Horizons has carried on to the Kuiper Belt for the sake of conducting more historic encounters.

"The Voyagers and Pioneers flew through the Kuiper Belt at a time when we didn't know this region existed", says Jim Green, director of NASA's Planetary Science Division, in another press release.

In the course of its extended mission in the Kuiper Belt, the New Horizons team seeks to observe at least two-dozen other KBOs, dwarf planets and "Centaurs" - i.e. former KBOs that have unstable orbits that cause them to cross the orbit of the gas giants.

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