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NASA Exhibits the Most Distant Images Taken by a Spaceship

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NASA Exhibits the Most Distant Images Taken by a Spaceship

For now, the Hubble telescope, which orbits Earth, can image most Kuiper belt objects in greater detail than New Horizon's eight-inch telescope, Porter said. These pictures show two objects in the Kuiper Belt, the so-called twilight zone on the fringes of our solar system.

The record was previously held by NASA's Voyager 1 when it captured the famous "Pale Blue Dot" image of Earth more than 27 years ago on Valentine's Day, 1990.

According to the principal investigator of the mission, Alan Stern, New Horizons has been a first-run operation: first exploring Pluto is also the first to track the Kuiper Belt, and-in addition-the fastest spacecraft ever launched.

In taking these images, New Horizon broke a record that had stood for almost three decades.

FILE - This image made available by NASA on Friday, July 24, 2015 shows a combination of images captured by the New Horizons spacecraft with enhanced colors to show differences in the composition and texture of Pluto's surface.

New Horizons took more photos as it sped deeper into the cosmos in December. It's headed toward an even closer encounter with another icy world, 1 billion miles (1.6 billion kilometres ) beyond Pluto, on January 1, 2019.

This illustration provided by NASA shows the New Horizons spacecraft. The probe whipped past Pluto in 2015 and is headed to 2014 MU69 for an attempted 2019 flyby of the tiny icy world on the edge of the solar system
NASA Exhibits the Most Distant Images Taken by a Spaceship

New Horizons is sleeping now, resting up for its next big adventure. Mission controllers at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, will bring the spacecraft out of its electronic slumber on June 4 and begin a series of system checkouts and other activities to prepare New Horizons for the MU69 encounter.

The spacecraft became the first to fly over Pluto in 2015, and the first to explore the Kuiper Belt.

With that, New Horizons surpasses a record set by NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft. 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.

The Kuiper Belt is a circumstellar disc in the outer Solar System extending from the orbit of Neptune (at 30 AU) to approximately 50 AU from the Sun. "And now, we've been able to make images farther from Earth than any spacecraft in history". Another picture taken by LORRI consists of two objects in the Kuiper belt.

"That tells us this object is going to have a lot of surprises in store for New Horizons", said Marc Buie, the New Horizons science team member from SwRI who led the observation campaign. But that will not be true when New Horizons wakes up in August.

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