The most distant photo ever taken

The most distant photo ever taken

Now, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has broken that record with several new photos.

New Horizons has always been a mission of firsts - first to explore Pluto, first to explore the Kuiper Belt, fastest spacecraft ever launched.

At present, the New Horizons probe is at a distance of 6.12 billion km (3.79 billion mi) from Earth.

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. There, NASA says it plans for New Horizons to make flyby investigations of at least two dozen objects, such as "dwarf planets and 'Centaurs, ' former [Kuiper Belt objects] in unstable orbits that cross the orbits of the giant planets".

'And now, we've been able to make images farther from Earth than any spacecraft in history'. Captured by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, the images were gathered at a greatest distance from Earth than any in the history of mankind.

The previous record holder for the farthest picture was NASA's Voyager 1, which shot the famous "Pale Blue Dot" image of Earth on February 14, 1990. The spacecraft travels more than 700,000 miles of space every day.

Voyager 1's record remained unchallenged for almost three decades after NASA turned off its cameras shortly after taking the legendary shot.

That's the gift of perspective that NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft gave us when it sent its iconic "pale blue dot" photo.

MU69 will be the most distant world ever explored.

"Mission scientists study the images to determine the objects' shapes and surface properties, and to check for moons and rings". "The spacecraft also is making almost continuous measurements of the plasma, dust and neutral-gas environment along its path". The Kuiper Belt is a disc-shaped expanse past the orbit of Neptune, about 2.7 billion to 9.3 billion miles (4.4 billion to 14.9 billion km) from the sun, that contains thousands of icy objects, comets and dwarf planets.

It's not the first time New Horizons has managed an unprecedented feat.

"New Horizons has always been a mission of firsts - first to explore Pluto, first to explore the Kuiper Belt, fastest spacecraft ever launched", says principal investigator Alan Stern, a planetary scientist the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, in the release.

New Horizons is now in electronic hibernation.

"The Voyagers and Pioneers flew through the Kuiper Belt at a time when we didn't know this region existed", says Jim Green, director of NASA's Planetary Science Division, in another press release.