This record-breaking photo was taken from 6 billion km away

This record-breaking photo was taken from 6 billion km away

This record-breaking photo was taken from 6 billion km away

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has set a new record by capturing the farthest images from Earth by a spacecraft, surpassing the Voyager 1's record of capturing an image when it was 6.06 billion km away from Earth.

NASA writes that the photos were captured by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) camera on its New Horizons interplanetary space probe, which performed a flyby of Pluto in 2015.

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.

On December 5, New Horizons trained its camera on the "Wishing Well" cluster of stars, followed by two objects in the Kuiper Belt - the massive band of rocks and dwarf planets on the outer fringes of the solar system, NPR reports.

"New Horizons has always been a mission of firsts - first to explore Pluto, first to explore the Kuiper Belt, fastest spacecraft ever launched", New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern said, according to NASA. These December 2017 false-color images of KBOs 2012 HZ84 (left) and 2012 HE85 are, for now, the farthest from Earth ever captured by a spacecraft.

New Horizons is the probe that flew by Pluto on July 14, 2015, and beamed back those incredible pictures.

Several hours after that first image, New Horizons broke its own record with the two images at the top of this story.

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They are also the closest-ever images of Kuiper Belt objects.

"Those are the farthest out images ever taken", says Dr. Andy Cheng, with the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel.

According to the press release, New Horizons is now back in hibernation mode and will reawaken on June 4 to begin preparations for a January 1, 2019 rendezvous with 2014 MU69, which is almost a billion miles beyond Pluto.

New Horizons is the first NASA spacecraft to fly by Pluto and the fifth to speed beyond the outer planets. NASA scientists are also using the New Horizons craft to analyze plasma, dust, and gas in the region. This is a TRANS-Neptunian object from the Kuiper belt makes one revolution around the Sun for 295 years.

For now, though, New Horizons is now enjoying some well-deserved hibernation as it hurtles away from us at a rate of roughly 700,000 miles a day. The next time scientists plan to bring it back online will be June 4, when the spacecraft will start preparing for a close encounter with a KBO named 2014 MU69 that's expected to happen on January 1, 2019.

According to NASA, New Horizons is healthy and is now in hibernation.

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