Nasa spacecraft takes farthest ever image from Earth

This December 2017 false-color image made available by NASA in February 2018 shows KBO 2012 HZ84. This image is for now one of the farthest

In 1990, the iconic probe captured a long-distance image of Earth, widely known as the "Pale Blue Dot" photo.

The New Horizons spacecraft, which flew past Pluto in 2015, is now on its way out to the Kuiper Belt, the wide band of small pieces of rock and ice that encircles the solar system.

The image, which to the naked eye just looks like an eery green glow in between some cloud looking things, is actually something much cooler.

But NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has now broken that record, sending back several photos from the Kuiper Belt, a region of the outer Solar System beyond Neptune.

New Horizon's principal investigator Alan Stern said in the statement that the unmanned, piano-sized probe, launched in 2006, "has been a mission of firsts - first to explore Pluto, first to explore the Kuiper Belt, fastest spacecraft ever launched".

'And now, we've been able to make images farther from Earth than any spacecraft in history'. However, that might not be the last we hear from New Horizons, as its power source could continue to provide life into 2026 and beyond.

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NASA says Voyager 1's cameras were turned off after that, so its photography record has been unchallenged for more than 27 years.

According to NASA, the remarkable false-color images sent back by New Horizons are also the closest-ever images captured of objects in the Kuiper Belt. According to a NASA press release, two hours later, it snapped images of KBOs 2012 HZ84 and 2012 HE85, setting yet another record.

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 lovely photos as a result. Data is stored in a solid-state recorder (the only moving parts in these flash memory devices are the electrons) on New Horizons and is then transmitted via radio waves.

As one of only five spacecraft to travel beyond the Outer Planets, New Horizons has set a number of other distance records as well. The spacecraft is slated to swing by another Kuiper Belt object (2014 MU69) on January 1st, 2019 and record more imagery in the process.

However, in December of 2017, the New Horizons team began conducting a routine calibration test of the LORRI instrument. These objects include dwarf planets like Pluto in far-out orbits of the sun and former KBOs in unstable orbits known as "Centaurs". This also means that the spacecraft could break its distance record again.

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