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NASA's New Horizons breaks record by taking the Most Distant Pictures Ever

NASA's New Horizons breaks record by taking the Most Distant Pictures Ever

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. "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 700,000 miles (1.1 million kilometers) of space each day", says NASA.

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft just took the farthest-ever images from Earth, breaking an earlier record set by Voyager 1's "Pale Blue Dot" image taken nearly exactly 28 years ago.

"New Horizons has always been a mission of firsts - first to explore Pluto, first to explore the Kuiper Belt, fastest spacecraft ever launched", Alan Stern, the mission's principal investigator, said in the NASA statement.

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. Porter calculated when New Horizons could best observe the two Kuiper belt objects and helped schedule the images. It imaged the Wishing Well at 3.79 billion miles away, beating the Blue Dot photo shoot by 40 million miles.

New Horizons is sleeping now, resting up for its next big adventure.

New Horizons first left Earth in 2006 with the aim of flying by Pluto, which it did in 2015, taking some dramatic photos along the way.

New Horizons flew past Pluto in 2015.

New Horizons is not as far from Earth as Voyager 1, but this spacecraft is also on track to leave the solar system.

Now, New Horizons is heading towards the Kuiper belt and will make a close flyby of Kuiper belt object on January 1, 2019. Now, the shuttle is currently on its way to study one or more other Kuiper belt objects.

The Kuiper Belt is a circumstellar disc in the outer Solar System extending from the orbit of Neptune (at 30 AU) to approximately 50 AU from the Sun.

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

NASA published a pair of images taken by the New Horizons spacecraft, and they're not much to look at.

On Earth, NASA's Deep Space Network antenna dishes catch the faint signals coming from New Horizons and reassemble the raw data into a usable form. The transmission rate for New Horizons is only about 2 kilobits per second. The next awakening is scheduled for June 4.

The previous record holder for the farthest picture was NASA's Voyager 1.

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