On December 9th last, it carried out the most-distant course-correction manoeuvre ever, as the mission team guided the spacecraft toward a close encounter with a KBO named 2014 MU69 on January 1st 2019. These pictures show two objects in the Kuiper Belt, the so-called twilight zone on the fringes of our solar system. With these pictures, New Horizons breaks a record of 27 years established by the NASA Voyager 1 probe when it captured the famous Earth photograph, Pale Blue Dot, at 6,0 60 million kilometers.
"The routine calibration frame of the "Wishing Well" galactic open star cluster, made by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on December 5, was taken when New Horizons was 3.79 billion miles (6.12 billion kilometers, or 40.9 astronomical units) from Earth - making it, for a time, the farthest image ever made from Earth", a NASA statement revealed.
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has turned its telescopic camera toward a field of stars - and made history. It has the goal of observing "at least two-dozen" more Kuiper Belt objects.
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New Horizons is going to get nudged out of hibernation again on the 4th of June.
Launched in 2006, the New Horizons mission stayed true to its name. But every once in a while, it wakes up, and it snaps a few photos which it then beams back to Earth.
As for what the New Horizons spacecraft is going almost 4 billion miles from Earth, NASA reports that it started an extended mission in the Kuiper Belt previous year.
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The NASA spacecraft that gave us close-ups of Pluto has set a record for the farthest photos ever taken.
The image at the top of the page is of several Kuiper Belt objects including some far-out dwarf planets and Centaurs, the space agency reports. It's not just taking awesome photos on its path, but also carrying measurements of the plasma, dust and neutral-gas environment along the way, enabling astronomers to better understand the outskirts of our solar system.
The Kuiper Belt is similar to the asteroid belt but is far larger: 20 times as wide and 20 to 200 times as massive. Mission scientists study the images to determine the objects' shapes and surface properties, and to check for moons and rings.
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