New Horizons recorded a picture of a star cluster taken from almost 4 billion miles away, breaking the previous record.
In so doing, they also broke a record that had stood untouched since 1990, when the Voyager 1 spacecraft sent back a final glimpse of Earth before its cameras went dark.
The spacecraft, which conducted a historic flyby of Pluto in July 2015, is now in its extended mission, which also involves distant observations of at least 24 objects, including dwarf planets, KBOs, and centaurs.
Remember that NASA spacecraft that gave us a remarkable view of Pluto?
The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has announced that its New Horizons spacecraft has recently taken the farthest ever images from Earth, breaking a previous record set by Voyager 1's "Pale Blue Dot" taken in 1990.
At a distance of 3.79 billion miles from Earth, New Horizons recorded a picture of a star cluster this past December.
New Horizons was even farther from home than NASA's Voyager 1 when it captured the famous "Pale Blue Dot" image of Earth.
5, 2017 while it was 6.12 billion km away from Earth and en route to the Kuiper Belt, a circumstellar disk surrounding the solar system.
New Horizons took more photos as it sped deeper into the cosmos in December. It finished its primary mission with the Pluto flyby in 2015 and is now on an extended mission to explore the Kuiper Belt, helping the U.S. to complete its reconnaissance of our solar system. According to a statement by NASA, the probe snapped a false-color image of a group of stars known as "Wishing Well" on December.
With its Long Range Reconnaissance Imager, New Horizons has observed several Kuiper Belt objects and dwarf planets at unique phase angles, as well as centaurs at extremely high phase angles to search for forward-scattering rings or dust. It is due to pass by an object there known as 2014 MU69 at the beginning of 2019.
"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. Mission controllers at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, will bring the spacecraft out of its electronic slumber on June 4th and begin a series of system checkouts and other activities to prepare New Horizons for the MU69 encounter.
New Horizons was launched on January 19, 2006.