The most distant photo ever taken


NASA said in a statement that New Horizons snapped a picture of a group of stars known as the "Wishing Well" when the spacecraft was about 3.79 billion miles (6.12 billion kilometers) from Earth.

The images for "Pale Blue Dot" - part of a composite - were taken 3.75 billion miles away.

With its innovative imaging technology (Long Range Reconnaissance Imager), New Horizons immortalized several space objects, as well as some other dwarf planets in the Kupier Belt.

While en route to the Kuiper Belt and just two hours after taking the record-breaking routine calibration frame of the "Wishing Well", the spacecraft broke its own record by capturing images of the KBOs 2012 HZ84 and 2012 HE85. So, after exploring Pluto in 2015, New Horizons, started on its secondary mission to explore 2014 MU69, a Kuiper Belt Object (KBO), which it should reach in 2019. The false-color images of two of the observed objects - 2012 HZ84 and 2012 HE85 - are the farthest from Earth ever captured by a spacecraft. NASA says Voyager 1's cameras were turned off after that, so its photography record has been unchallenged for more than 27 years. Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech.

"New Horizons has always been a mission of firsts - first to explore Pluto, first to explore the Kuiper Belt, fastest spacecraft ever launched", says New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern.

That record won't be broken by another probe anytime soon, since New Horizons is one of just a few spacecraft that have ever made the harrowing journey to the edges of our solar system.

In so doing, they also broke a record that had stood untouched since 1990, when the Voyager 1 spacecraft sent back a final glimpse of Earth before its cameras went dark.

"Pale Blue Dot", which shows the Earth as a point of light in a sunbeam, was a precious record-holder for farthest photo captured from Earth.

At first glance it might not look like much - but, with a fuzzy purple and green photo, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has made history.

Since that time, New Horizons has carried on to the Kuiper Belt for the sake of conducting more historic encounters.

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. From here on out, every image it sends back will be the most distant image ever sent back.