On December 5, New Horizons took a snap of a star cluster dubbed "Wishing well" and at that time it was nearly 3.79 billion miles (6.12 billion kilometers) away from Earth. The photos were a test run, which is why the image on the right is a little bit off-center because the object wasn't quite where predicted. The machine that took these photos was farther from Earth than any other functioning camera in existence.
As the interplanetary New Horizons probe woke up from its hibernating slumber, it turned its telescopic camera toward a field of stars and took a picture - making history. The imager is one of seven instruments aboard the New Horizons spacecraft that reached Pluto in 2015.
Now, New Horizons is heading towards the Kuiper belt and will make a close flyby of Kuiper belt object on January 1, 2019.
"New Horizons has always been a mission of firsts - first to explore Pluto, first to explore the Kuiper Belt, fastest spacecraft ever launched", New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, was quoted as saying in a NASA statement.
The image at the top of the page is of several Kuiper Belt objects including some far-out dwarf planets and Centaurs, the space agency reports.
New Horizons has been on an extended mission in the Kuiper Belt, a region of the solar system just beyond Neptune's orbit, since 2017.
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New Horizon's mission to Pluto may be over, but the NASA satellite has just sent back the 21st century's "Pale Blue Dot". That's here. That's home.
The "Pale Blue Dot" was a part of the first ever "portrait" of the solar system taken by Voyager 1. But the spacecraft is not dead yet.
NASA has released a record-breaking photograph taken by the New Horizons spacecraft when it was 3.79 billion miles away from the Earth. Specifically, New Horizons is targeting 2014 MU69, a mysterious object (or pair of two objects) which Alan Stern, mission principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), has called "provocative" and a "scientific bonanza". There, it changed the way we view the dwarf planet.
It was most recently active between September and December 2017.
It wasn't until this past December when Voyager 1's record was finally broken. The distance? Over 6.1 billion kilometers. Two hours later, it broke the record again with two images of KBOs that are also the closest-up image ever taken of any such object.