Published: Fri, February 09, 2018
Science | By Hubert Green

NASA Exhibits the Most Distant Images Taken by a Spaceship

NASA Exhibits the Most Distant Images Taken by a Spaceship

The record was previously held by NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft, which snapped the image data for the famous "Pale Blue Dot" image on February 14, 1990. According to the space agency, New Horizons captured over 1,200 photos and collected 10GB worth of data, which took over a year to reach Earth.

Launched in 2006, the New Horizons mission stayed true to its name.

Outlining the dwarf planet's geology and composition, along with details about the unexpected haze in the planet's atmosphere and its interaction with the solar winds, New Horizons has revolutionized scientists' and the world's understanding of Pluto. It has the goal of observing "at least two-dozen" more Kuiper Belt objects.

"This dramatic Pluto flyover begins over the highlands to the southwest of the great expanse of nitrogen ice plain informally named Sputnik Planitia", Nasa said in a statement, describing New Horizons' journey.

Since then, Voyager 1 hasn't taken any photos.

The New Horizons probe took an image which is the furthest ever created from Earth, beating a record set by NASA's Voyager probe. Two hours later, it broke it again.

While we continue to bask in the afterglow of Elon Musk's historic Falcon Heavy SpaceX launch, it's easy to forget that NASA makes history virtually every day with innovations and milestones that continue to shape the future of the aerospace industry. These December 2017 false-color images of KBOs 2012 HZ84 (left) and 2012 HE85 are, for now, the farthest objects from Earth ever captured by a spacecraft.

Now, New Horizons is heading towards the Kuiper belt and will make a close flyby of Kuiper belt object on January 1, 2019. "That 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". "The spacecraft also is making almost continuous measurements of the plasma, dust and neutral-gas environment along its path". Both are floating in the Kuiper Belt, an area on the edge of our solar system that NASA's spacecraft is now exploring.

The Kuiper Belt is similar to the asteroid belt but is far larger: 20 times as wide and 20 to 200 times as massive. Or restarted. The probe is periodically in communication with the mission team as it closes in on its next target, a Kuiper Belt object (or perhaps even two paired objects) known as 2014 MU69.

New Horizons is reportedly healthy and everything is functioning as planned.

Like this: