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 look like nothing but blobs to you, but these images were taken farther from Earth than *ever*. At 3.79 billion miles away, New Horizons has broken Voyager 1's record, which took the famous Pale Blue Dot image at 3.75 billion miles from Earth.… https://t.co/nlX7gl3ZXq pic.twitter.com/6AraFQs4Ao
— Sophia Gad-Nasr (@Astropartigirl) February 11, 2018
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.
NASA probe, New Horizons, makes history by snapping the most distant photos taken away from Earth breaking Voyager 1’s record, which was set by taking a distant picture in 1990 of Earth known as the “Pale Blue Dot”https://t.co/woJlPiUkgE#Nasa #NewHorizons #Voyager #space pic.twitter.com/2B8pyHB80O
— Attaullah Malik (@AtMaliks) February 11, 2018
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