gpolit.com
gpolit.com February 21, 2018


NASA space probe takes 'furthest ever' photo from Earth

11 February 2018, 05:02 | Camille Rivera

Image credit NASA

NASA Captures the Farthest Images Ever Taken From Earth With New Horizons Spacecraft

That image, known as the "Pale Blue Dot", was taken from 3.75 billion miles (6 billion km) away.

These false-color images of two Kuiper Belt objects, 2012 HZ84 (left) and 2012 HE85 (right), helped give New Horizons' LORRI instrument the title of farthest-out working camera.

Today NASA released a set of images captured by New Horizons' Long Range Reconnaissance Imager on December 5 of previous year, when the piano-sized probe was 3.79 billion miles from Earth.

"New Horizons just couldn't be better. we're bearing down on our flyby target", said lead scientist Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

Along the way, New Horizons broke the record for the farthest image captured away from our home planet.

New Horizons broke its own record by taking the image of the two KBOs shown above. On January 1, 2019, the probe will fly by a small, frozen world in the Kuiper Belt called 2014 MU69, which orbits a billion miles beyond Pluto. During its travels, New Horizons alternates between periods of activity and dormancy to conserve fuel.

Launched in 2006, New Horizons spacecraft is created to explore worlds at the our solar system.

New Horizons is the probe that flew by Pluto on July 14, 2015, and beamed back those incredible pictures. Then New Horizons started its journey towards Pluto, the dwarf planet.

New Horizons has observed several Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) and dwarf planets at unique phase angles, as well as so-called Centaurs - former KBOs in unstable orbits that cross the orbits of the giant planets on the edge of our solar system. He further said that now they have been able to make images farther from Earth than any spacecraft in history.

New Horizons is an interplanetary space craft that was launched under NASA's New Frontiers Program in 2006 with the primary mission to perform a study on the Pluto system and 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. Another picture taken by LORRI consists of two objects in the Kuiper belt. But that will not be true when New Horizons wakes up in August. Now, it's zipping along at more than 700,000 miles (1.1 million kilometers) each day - moving farther and farther out into our solar system. When that happens, it will break the record again.

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.



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