Thursday, 22 February, 2018

New Horizons probe captures images at record distance from Earth

For a short time this New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager frame of the View Slideshow
Guillermo Lane | 14 February, 2018, 18:06

It also provided breathtaking images of Pluto's "heart", its frozen plains, mountain chains, and it's mysterious "bladed terrain". So long as the mission goes according to plan, New Horizons could hold on to its lead for a long time. In the process, it sent back of the distant world, which for decades had appeared as little more than a smudge to even the most advanced telescopes on Earth. The cluster photo surpassed the "Pale Blue Dot" images of Earth that NASA's Voyager 1 took back in 1990.

Hours after its first record-breaking image on Dec 5, it captured another.

This historic picture was taken on February 14th, 1990 (Valentine's Day) at the behest of famed astronomer Carl Sagan. Voyager 1 shut off its camera the same year it captured the "Pale Blue Dot" image and Voyager 2 shut down its cameras after imaging Neptune in 1989. For more than 27 years, this long-distance record remained unchallenged.

At first glance the images are unremarkable. NASA says mission controllers will "bring the spacecraft out of its electronic slumber" this coming summer as preparation for its next major flyby. As part of the probes mission to rendezvous with a KBO, the team was searching for forward-scattering rings or dust.

Two hours later, New Horizons has already beaten his own record by making color photographs of two Kuiper Belt objects (2012 HZ84 and 2012 HE85).

There is one record New Horizons won't take from Voyager 1. These two images that show Kuiper belt objects in the outer Solar System were captured by the farthest-ever cameras from Earth.

Rahul Gandhi continues with temple circuit
Gandhi's 30-minute speech in Hindi was simultaneously translated in the native language Kannada for the benefit of the audience. Rahul Gandhi is campaigning in poll-bound Karnataka ahead of upcoming assembly elections in the state.


"New Horizons has always been a mission of firsts - first to explore Pluto, first to explore the Kuiper Belt, fastest spacecraft ever launched", Alan Stern, principal investigator of the New Horizons mission, released Thursday.

'And now, we've been able to make images farther from Earth than any spacecraft in history'.

As one of only five spacecraft to travel beyond the Outer Planets, New Horizons has set a number of other distance records as well. To transfer the stored information took more than fifteen months. The subjects include the "Wishing Well" star cluster as well as two large objects in the Kuiper Belt which have never been observed from such a distance before.

New Horizons is now in electronic hibernation.

According to reports, the craft achieved the major milestone while drifting farther and farther through the outer boundaries of the solar system late past year.

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