NASA Probe Captures Farthest Images Taken Away From Earth

This illustration provided by NASA shows the New Horizons spacecraft. The probe whipped past Pluto in 2015 and is headed to 2014 MU69 for an attempted 2019 flyby of the tiny icy world on the edge of the solar system

09 de febrero de 2018, 13:00Washington, Feb 9 (Prensa Latina) The US space agency (NASA) is now displaying images of two objects from the Kuiper Belt (KBO) taken by its New Horizons ship, 6, 120 million kilometers from our planet.

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.

New Horizons continues its journey into the cosmos at a rate of about 700,000 miles a day. "And now, we've been able to make images farther from Earth than any spacecraft in history", Stern said. The imager is one of seven instruments aboard the New Horizons spacecraft that reached Pluto in 2015. The image of an icy rock in the Kuiper belt has had colour added to increase the contrast.

Those snapshots of the December 2012 KBO 2012 HZ84 and 2012 HE85 are so far the furthest ever captured by a spacecraft, and the closest to any body of Kuiper, the agency stressed in a statement. Porter calculated when New Horizons could best observe the two Kuiper belt objects and helped schedule the images.

The New Horizons spacecraft is said to be in good condition and is now hibernating, with mission control planning to awaken it again on June 4 in preparation for a flyby of Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69 in mid-2019.

The NASA New Horizons probe just set a new interstellar exploration record, taking pictures from further out in space than ever before - it snapped the shots you see above some 6.12 billion kilometres (3.79 billion miles) away from Earth.

That picture was part of a composite of 60 images looking back at the solar system, on February 14, 1990, when Voyager was 3.75 billion miles from Earth.

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Launched in 2006, the New Horizons mission stayed true to its name. The targeted object is known as 2014 MU69; the spacecraft will pass within 2,175 miles (3,500 kilometres ).

It wasn't until this past December when Voyager 1's record was finally broken.

The Wishing Well star cluster, pictured December 5, 2017. It performed an unprecedented flyby study of the Pluto system in 2015, offering a dramatic view of the dwarf planet and its satellites.

With diameters of a hundred kilometers or so, the two Kuiper belt objects are not large enough to classify as dwarf planets.

For now, the Hubble telescope, which orbits Earth, can image most Kuiper belt objects in greater detail than New Horizon's eight-inch telescope, Porter said.

New Horizons is going to get nudged out of hibernation again on the 4th of June.

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