For a short time, this LORRI frame of the "Wishing Well" star cluster, taken December 5, 2017, was the farthest image ever made by a spacecraft, breaking a 27-year record set by Voyager 1. On 5 December, 2017, the spacecraft, which covers over one million kilometres of space per day, was 6.12 billion kilometres from Earth, when it captured an image of the "Wishing Well" open star cluster - making it the "farthest image ever made from Earth".
The Voyager 1 spacecraft previously held the record for the image taken furthest out in space, after it took the famous "Pale Blue Dot" image 27 years ago. That picture, the brainchild of the late physicist Carl Sagan, looked back at Earth from a distance of 3.75 billion miles.
These false-color images of two Kuiper Belt objects, 2012 HZ84 (left) and 2012 HE85 (right), helped give New Horizons' LORRI instrument the title of farthest-out working camera. It finished its primary mission with the Pluto flyby in 2015 and is now on an extended mission to explore the Kuiper Belt, helping the United States to complete its reconnaissance of our solar system.
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But New Horizons is the first to send back a picture for so far afield. As it gets closer and closer to the confines of our solar system, the spacecraft has just taken one last shot of a cluster of stars, which is the most distant image ever taken from planet. 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.
New Horizons is sleeping now, resting up for its next big adventure.
Launched in 2006, New Horizons spacecraft is created to explore worlds at the our solar system.
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"Combining images with the measurements we make of the composition of and environment around MU69, should teach us a great deal about objects like MU69 that built dwarf planets like Pluto", Weaver said.
New Horizons is best known for taking stunning photos of Pluto back in 2015. The transmission rate for New Horizons is only about 2 kilobits per second. The Jupiter flyby provided a gravity assist that increased New Horizons' speed; the flyby also enabled a general test of New Horizons' scientific capabilities, returning data about the planet's atmosphere, moons, and magnetosphere.
New Horizons is the probe that flew by Pluto on July 14, 2015, and beamed back those unbelievable pictures.
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