NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has captured the farthest images from Earth by a spacecraft and set a new record.
The image captured by New Horizons is from a distance father than that of the "Pale Blue Dot" image of Earth taken by NASA's Voyager 1.
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The "Pale Blue Dot" was a part of the first ever "portrait" of the solar system taken by Voyager 1. The image was captured on February 14, 1990, when the space probe was at a distance of 6.06 billion kilometers (3.75 billion miles) from Earth.
The new image snapped by New Horizons was released by NASA on Thursday, February 8. The spacecraft was at a distance of 6.12 billion kilometers (3.79 billion miles) when it captured the images.
"New Horizons has long been a mission of firsts — first to explore Pluto, first to explore the Kuiper Belt, fastest spacecraft ever launched," New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, was quoted as saying in a NASA statement.
"And now, we've been able to make images farther from Earth than any spacecraft in history," Stern added.
New Horizons made history by clicking the images using its Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI). The spacecraft observed numerous Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) as well as dwarf planets at unique phase angles.
"The routine calibration frame of the 'Wishing Well' galactic open star cluster, made by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on December 5, was taken when New Horizons was 3.79 billion miles (6.12 billion kilometers, or 40.9 astronomical units) from Earth — making it, for a time, the farthest image ever made from Earth," a NASA statement revealed.
Located at around 405 parsecs from our planet, the Wishing Well Cluster, dubbed NGC 3532, and also known as the Football Cluster, is an open cluster.