NASA Probe Captures Farthest Images Taken Away From Earth
Feb 11, 2018, 03:58
New Horizons is not as far from Earth as Voyager 1, but this spacecraft is also on track to leave the solar system. The imager is one of seven instruments aboard the New Horizons spacecraft that reached Pluto in 2015. The "Wishing Well" view and those two false-color images, showing the objects known as 2012 HZ84 and 2012 HE85, are what gave LORRI its record as the farthest-out camera.
In taking these images, New Horizon broke a record that had stood for almost three decades.
It wasn't until this past December when Voyager 1's record was finally broken.
We'll know for sure when New Horizons gets close, and thankfully its cameras will stay powered on for a while. These images, as announced by the administration, broke the 27 years old record of Voyager 1 when it captured the famous Pale Blue Dot image of the Earth.
Launched in 2006, New Horizons spacecraft is created to explore worlds at the our solar system. Project Scientist Hal Weaver, of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, pointed out that New Horizons' vantage point from about 2,175 miles (3,500 kilometers) from MU69 will allow it spot details about the size of a basketball court.
That's because they were taken from the farthest point from planet Earth of any images ever captured, snapped by a spacecraft just over 3.79 billion miles (6.12 billion kilometers) from its home planet.
About two hours later, New Horizons later broke the record again with images of Kuiper Belt objects 2012 HZ84 and 2012 HE85.
The Kuiper belt is a vast expanse of rocks, ice clumps, comets and dwarf planets beyond Neptune.
New Horizons willI become the first to do a fly-by of one of the many mysterious Kuiper Belt objects when it will come in close range of "Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69" shortly after midnight on January 1, 2019.
New Horizons continues its journey into the cosmos at a rate of about 700,000 miles a day. Although the main objective of New Horizons was to study Pluto and the Kuiper Belt of icy, rocky objects, the spacecraft first flew past the solar system's largest planet, Jupiter, in early 2007 - just a little over a year after launch.
As the interplanetary New Horizons probe woke up from its hibernating slumber, it turned its telescopic camera toward a field of stars and took a picture - making history. "New Horizons is on the hunt to understand these objects, and we invite everyone to ring in the next year with the excitement of exploring the unknown".
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