These Photos Were Snapped by the Farthest-Ever Cameras from Earth

NASA share farthest pic of Pluto from Earth 1222018

In 1990, the Voyager 1 spacecraft turned its camera toward Earth and took a famous photo called "The Pale Blue Dot" from 3.75 billion miles away.

The images for "Pale Blue Dot" - part of a composite - were taken 3.75 billion miles away.

New Horizons broke its own record a couple of hours later that day by taking images of two space rocks in the Kuiper Belt, a disc-shaped region beyond Neptune that may be home to hundreds of thousands of icy worlds and a trillion or more comets, according to a NASA statement.

Mission controllers at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, will bring the spacecraft out of its electronic slumber on June 4, 2018, and begin a series of system checkouts and other activities to prepare New Horizons for the close encounter with 2014 MU69. The subjects include the "Wishing Well" star cluster as well as two large objects in the Kuiper Belt which have never been observed from such a distance before.

NASA released the images this week.

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"New Horizons has always been a mission of firsts - first to explore Pluto, first to explore the Kuiper Belt, fastest spacecraft ever launched". Just 2 hours before, the spacecraft had officially claimed the title of spaciest photographer by capturing a camera-calibration shot of a far-off star cluster known as the Wishing Well.

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. There, NASA says it plans for New Horizons to make flyby investigations of at least two dozen objects, such as "dwarf planets and 'Centaurs, ' former [Kuiper Belt objects] in unstable orbits that cross the orbits of the giant planets".

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 attractive photos as a result.

The probe then turned its attention to the distant Kuiper Belt.

New Horizons snapped these two farthest-out shots, of Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) 2012 HZ84 and 2012 HE85, on December 5, 2017. From here on out, every image it sends back will be the most distant image ever sent back. The mission will put New Horizons one billion miles beyond the Pluto system, which it explored back in 2015.

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