NASA Exhibits the Most Distant Images Taken by a Spaceship

NASA farthest images from Earth New Horizons probe Kuiper Belt images Long Range Reconnaissance Imager NASA Voyager 1 solar system Kuiper Belt objects

NASA farthest images from Earth New Horizons probe Kuiper Belt images Long Range Reconnaissance Imager NASA Voyager 1 solar system Kuiper Belt objects

According to the principal investigator of the mission, Alan Stern, New Horizons has been a first-run operation: first exploring Pluto is also the first to track the Kuiper Belt, and-in addition-the fastest spacecraft ever launched.

New Horizons has observed several Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) and dwarf planets at unique phase angles, as well as Centaurs at extremely high phase angles to search for forward-scattering rings or dust.

KBOs 2012 HZ84 (left) and 2012 HE85.

For a short time, this New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) 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. The images were the closest ever taken of the KBOs.

The new images broke the record of another snap taken by the camera of New Horizons of the so-called "Wishing Well" star cluster (seen below), just two hours earlier on the same day while the imager was on a routine calibration.

New Horizons is no stranger to lovely photos from space. From 2015 to 2016, the space probe had sent the most detailed images of Pluto ever as part of its year-long data dump when it reached the former ninth planet.

New Horizons is scheduled to fly by its target in the beginning of 2019.

That New Year's flight past MU69 will be the farthest planetary encounter in history, happening one billion miles beyond the Pluto system - which New Horizons famously explored in July 2015. Voyager 1's cameras were turned off shortly after that portrait, leaving its distance record unchallenged for more than 27 years. The space probe now keeps itself in hibernation as it journeys towards its objective KBOs, where it will continue to send never-before-seen images of the solar system's most distant space objects.

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