NASA's New Horizons Spacecraft Captures Record-Breaking Images

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But the New Horizons photos are a worthwhile reminder that as technology improves, and as NASA probes and crafts work their way deeper and deeper into space, there's going to be a wealth of interesting, engrossing, and handsome photos as a result.

Interplanetary station, New Horizons has established a record, having received images of celestial bodies with the maximum available distance from the Earth to date. New Horizons was about 3.79 billion miles (~6.12B km) from Earth when the photos were shot.

This December 2017 false-color image made available by NASA in February 2018 shows KBO (Kuiper Belt object) 2012 HZ84.

'And now, we've been able to make images farther from Earth than any spacecraft in history'.

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has set a new record by capturing the farthest images from Earth by a spacecraft, surpassing the Voyager 1's record of capturing an image when it was 6.06 billion km away from Earth. Voyager 1 shut off its camera the same year it captured the "Pale Blue Dot" image and Voyager 2 shut down its cameras after imaging Neptune in 1989.

"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 1.1 million kilometers of space each day", NASA said in the statement.

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Artist's impression of New Horizons encountering a Pluto-like object in the distant Kuiper Belt.

That's the gift of perspective that NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft gave us when it sent its iconic "pale blue dot" photo. But they're arguably among the most fantastic photographic images ever.

"Mission scientists study the images to determine the objects' shapes and surface properties, and to check for moons and rings".

New Horizons is sleeping now, resting up for its next big adventure. "The spacecraft also is making almost continuous measurements of the plasma, dust and neutral-gas environment along its path", it added.

The coming 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, NASA said. This event, which will happen on January 1st, 2019, will be the farthest planetary encounter in history. New Horizons is exploring this region and the Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) found there in an effort to better understand these far-away worlds and the journeys they're making through the cosmos.

NASA also plans for the spacecraft to observe at least two-dozen other KBOs, dwarf planets, and Centaurs - the former KBOS in unstable orbits that cross the orbits of giant planets.