Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) of NASA’ s New Horizons spacecraft on Dec. 5, 2017 snapped a picture of a group of stars known as the ‘Wishing Well’ when the spacecraft was about 3.79 billion miles 3.79 billion miles (6.12 billion kilometers, or 40.9 astronomical units) from Earth. It was the farthest image ever made from Earth.
- On December 5, 2017, it broke a record set by Voyager 1 in 1990 when it captured the famous ‘Pale Blue Dot’ image of Earth. That picture was part of a composite of 60 images looking back at the solar system, on 14 February 1990, when Voyager was 3.75 billion miles (6.06 billion kilometers, or about 40.5 astronomical units) from Earth. Voyager 1’s cameras were turned off after that, so its photography record has been unchallenged for more than 27 years.
- According to NASA, New Horizons broke its own record a couple of hours later that day by taking images of two Kuiper Belt objects namely 2012 HZ84 and 2012 HE85., according to a NASA statement.
About New Horizons
- New Horizons was launched on Jan. 19, 2006
- This probe flew by Pluto on July 14, 2015.
- It is now on an extended mission to explore the Kuiper Belt.
- It is the fastest spacecraft ever created, covering more than 700,000 miles (1.1 million kilometers) of space each day.
- It is the first mission on many counts: New Horizons has long been a mission of firsts; first to explore Pluto, first to explore the Kuiper Belt, fastest spacecraft ever launched.
About the the Kuiper Belt
- It is a disc-shaped region beyond Neptune planet of out solar system that may be home to hundreds of thousands of icy worlds and a trillion or more comets.