The most distant photo ever taken

The most distant photo ever taken

The most distant photo ever taken

At first glance the images are unremarkable. This image is, for now, one of the farthest pictures from Earth ever captured by a spacecraft.

For a short time, this New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager frame of the "Wishing Well" star cluster, taken December 5, 2017, was the farthest image ever made by a spacecraft, breaking a 27-year record set by Voyager 1.

That won't be happening with New Horizons.

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The mission also broke a record that has been stagnant since 1990, when the Voyager 1 spacecraft sent back a final capture of Earth before the cameras on the craft were lost. 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.

That image was made at a vantage point of 3.75 billion miles from Earth.

They might not look like much, sure―the above images are the closest ever taken of objects within the Kuiper Belt―but it's a landmark moment for space photography all the same.

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"New Horizons has always been a mission of firsts-first to explore Pluto, first to explore the Kuiper Belt, fastest spacecraft ever launched", said Principal Investigator Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in Boulder, Colorado. Thanks to him, the researchers were able to learn that on Pluto there is a cryovolcano, glaciers, mountain ranges and characteristics of the subsurface ocean, and also the first to see the moons Charon, Nix, Hydra and Cerberus in detail. The new images are the closest images of Kuiper Belt objects obtained to date.

"LORRI broke its own record just two hours later with images of Kuiper Belt objects 2012 HZ84 and 2012 HE85, further demonstrating how nothing stands still when you're covering more than 1.1 million kilometers of space each day", NASA said in the statement.

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. "The spacecraft also is making almost continuous measurements of the plasma, dust and neutral-gas environment along its path", it added.

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NASA said New Horizons is in the hibernation mode now, awaiting its next adventure due January.

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