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These Photos Were Snapped by the Farthest-Ever Cameras from Earth


NASA has published a pair of record-breaking photos. These two images that show Kuiper belt objects in the outer Solar System were captured by the farthest-ever cameras 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. New Horizons was about 3.79 billion miles (~6.12B km) from Earth when the photos were shot.

The false color photos, captured in December 2017, are also the closest-ever images of objects in the Kuiper Belt (the massive asteroid-belt-style disc in the outer reaches of our solar system).

“New Horizons has long 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. “And now, we’ve been able to make images farther from Earth than any spacecraft in history.”

By comparison, the iconic Pale Blue Dot photo of Earth was captured by NASA’s Voyager 1 space probe when it was 3.7 billion miles away, or 90 million miles closer than this latest record-breaking shot.

“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.

New Horizons is currently traveling about 700,000 miles (1.1M km) every single day.