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 has released a photograph taken 6.1 billion kilometres away from Earth.

Well, New Horizons has outdone itself again, setting a record for the farthest photos ever taken from Earth.

New Horizons has observed several Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) and dwarf planets at unique phase angles, as well as Centaurs at extremely high phase angles to search for forward-scattering rings or dust.

"New Horizons just couldn't be better... we're bearing down on our flyby target", said lead scientist Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. "And now, we've been able to make images farther from Earth than any spacecraft in history".

Located about 1 billion miles (1.61 billion kilometers) beyond Pluto, which New Horizons famously flew by in July 2015, 2014 MU69 was discovered in June 2014 by scientists using the Hubble Space Telescope.

Voyager 1's record remained unchallenged for almost three decades after NASA turned off its cameras shortly after taking the legendary shot. Considering that was an image of our own planet taken from afar, it figures that it'd probably remain the more popular and iconic of the two―humanity can be self-centered, after all, and the Kuiper Belt is remote. These two images that show Kuiper belt objects in the outer Solar System were captured by the farthest-ever cameras from Earth.

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The photo surpassed the "Pale Blue Dot" images of Earth taken in 1990 by NASA's Voyager 1. Voyager 1 shut off its camera the same year it captured the "Pale Blue Dot" image and Voyager 2 shut down its cameras after imaging Neptune in 1989.

However, an image captured by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft just smashed Voyager 1's achievement.

At the time, New Horizons was 3.79 billion miles (6.12 billion kilometers) from Earth. As Stephanie Pappas at LiveScience reports, after snapping an image and storing it on its hard drive, New Horizons sends its data back on an antenna that transmits at only 12 watts, moving data at a snail's pace-only two kilobits per second.

New Horizons covers more than 1.1 million km of space each day (KBO). Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech. The craft is now on its way to Kuiper Belt to take pictures of the Kuiper Belt object (KBO) which was named 2014 MU69 on January 1st, 2019.

"With New Horizons, all that has changed", NPR's Geoff Brumfiel.

However, in December of 2017, the New Horizons team began conducting a routine calibration test of the LORRI instrument. It will be the farthest planetary encounter in history.

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