These Images Were Captured Nearly 3.8 Billion Miles From Earth

The Kuiper Belt object KBO 2012 HZ84 as seen by the New Horizons space probe

The Kuiper Belt object KBO 2012 HZ84 as seen by the New Horizons space probe

According to a statement by NASA, the probe snapped a false-color image of a group of stars known as "Wishing Well" on December. These December 2017 false-color images of KBOs 2012 HZ84 (left) and 2012 HE85 are, for now, the farthest from Earth ever captured by a spacecraft.

The piano-sized probe then turned to the Kuiper Belt.

Launched in 2006, New Horizons is headed toward 2014 MU69, an icy world 1 billion miles beyond Pluto. Now, it's reportedly snapped the farthest photo from Earth that's ever been taken.

New Horizons is just the fifth spacecraft to speed beyond the outer planets, so many of its activities set distance records.

It thus broke the previous record set in February 1990, when the apparatus "Voyager 1" got famous photograph Pale Blue Dot from a distance of about of 6.06 billion kilometers from Earth.

More news: The Cavaliers had a glaring defensive problem, but trades could solve it
More news: Tamilisai, Vijayadharani welcome inauguration of Jaya's portrait in Assembly
More news: Resurgent Jedinak leads Villa to second

That image was made at a vantage point of 3.75 billion miles from Earth. Voyager 1's achievement lasted as long as it did because the mission crew shut off the camera shortly after capturing the Pale Blue Dot image. The spacecraft is slated to swing by another Kuiper Belt object (2014 MU69) on January 1st, 2019 and record more imagery in the process.

With its Long Range Reconnaissance Imager, New Horizons has observed several Kuiper Belt objects and dwarf planets at unique phase angles, as well as centaurs at extremely high phase angles to search for forward-scattering rings or dust.

"Mission scientists study the images to determine the objects' shapes and surface properties, and to check for moons and rings", the space agency says. There, NASA says it plans for New Horizons to make flyby investigations of at least two dozen objects, such as "dwarf planets and 'Centaurs, ' former [Kuiper Belt objects] in unstable orbits that cross the orbits of the giant planets". "The spacecraft also is making almost continuous measurements of the plasma, dust and neutral-gas environment along its path", it added.

Following a December 9, 2017, course correction maneuver to refine New Horizons' journey to MU69, the spacecraft was put into hibernation on December 21.

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. Flight controllers at a Johns Hopkins University lab in Laurel, Maryland, will awaken the spacecraft in June and start getting it ready for the flyby.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.