NASA probe “New Horizons” snaps farthest-ever photo from Earth

Sorry Voyager 1, you just lost your record.


Chris Tognotti

Internet Culture

Published Feb 11, 2018   Updated May 22, 2021, 1:20 am CDT

Anyone who’s passionate about astronomy and outer space knows that few things can compare to the grandeur and beauty of deep space photography, and on that front, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is doing great work. Now, it’s reportedly snapped the farthest photo from Earth that’s ever been taken.

According to reports, the craft achieved the major milestone while drifting farther and farther through the outer boundaries of the solar system late last year. On Dec. 5, the probe’s cameras pointed toward the “Wishing Well’ star cluster and snapped a photo. Then, mere hours later, it beat its own record with yet another photo from 3.79 billion miles away of celestial objects in the Kuiper Belt.

They might not look like much, sure―the above images are the closest ever taken of objects within the Kuiper Belt―but it’s a landmark moment for space photography all the same. Given that the New Horizons is still making its way through the solar system, it’s entirely possible there will be more incredibly distant images in the weeks and months to come.

The New Horizons broke a 28-year-old record held by the Voyager 1. In 1990, the iconic probe captured a long-distance image of Earth, widely known as the “Pale Blue Dot” photo. 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.

But the New Horizons photos are a worthwhile reminder that as technology improves, and as NASA probes and crafts work their way deeper and deeper into space, there’s going to be a wealth of interesting, engrossing, and beautiful photos as a result.

H/T the Verge

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*First Published: Feb 11, 2018, 12:42 pm CST