NASA just published the farthest-ever images taken in space

Nasa's New Horizons spacecraft makes history by capturing the 'farthest image ever' from Earth

Along the way, New Horizons broke the record for the farthest image captured away from our home planet.

For now, the Hubble telescope, which orbits Earth, can image most Kuiper belt objects in greater detail than New Horizon's eight-inch telescope, Porter said.

New Horizons will fly about three times closer to MU69 than it did to Pluto in July 2015, allowing the spacecraft's cameras to provide a more detailed look at the object's surface. The probe is traveling further out from our solar system to study what's in the Kuiper Belt, which is generally made up of frozen masses of rock and ice.

Now, New Horizons is heading towards the Kuiper belt and will make a close flyby of Kuiper belt object on January 1, 2019.

The previous record holder for the farthest picture was NASA's Voyager 1.

New Horizons was launched in 2006 and is now in electronic hibernation. Now, it's zipping along at more than 700,000 miles (1.1 million kilometers) each day - moving farther and farther out into our solar system. Project Scientist Hal Weaver, of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, pointed out that New Horizons' vantage point from about 2,175 miles (3,500 kilometers) from MU69 will allow it spot details about the size of a basketball court. But New Horizons actually broke it twice - first taking another image of the "Wishing Well" star cluster, then breaking it again two hours later with another stunning image.

For the two record-breaking Kuiper Belt object images, it took about 4 hours to transmit each image and 6 hours for the data to travel to Earth, Alan Stern, the principal investigator on the New Horizons mission, told Live Science.

With diameters of a hundred kilometers or so, the two Kuiper belt objects are not large enough to classify as dwarf planets. The red line marks the path of the New Horizons spacecraft.

The routine calibration frame of the "Wishing Well" galactic open star cluster on December 5 was taken when New Horizons was 6.12 billion km from Earth - making it, for a time, the farthest image ever made from Earth, NASA said. Porter calculated when New Horizons could best observe the two Kuiper belt objects and helped schedule the images. For now, New Horizons won't be sending home any snapshots.

The Kuiper belt object flyby is "not almost as flashy as Pluto", Porter said, but "it's a really unique observation".

New Horizons took more photos as it sped deeper into the cosmos in December.

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