Farthest photos ever taken, from nearly 4 billion miles away - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Farthest photos ever taken, from nearly 4 billion miles away

Posted: Updated:
(NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute via AP). This December 2017 false-color image made available by NASA in February 2018 shows KBO (Kuiper Belt object) 2012 HZ84. This image is, for now, one of the fa... (NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute via AP). This December 2017 false-color image made available by NASA in February 2018 shows KBO (Kuiper Belt object) 2012 HZ84. This image is, for now, one of the fa...
  • NationalMore>>

  • Shooting town hall: Rubio on the defensive on gun control

    Shooting town hall: Rubio on the defensive on gun control

    Thursday, February 22 2018 7:58 AM EST2018-02-22 12:58:55 GMT
    (Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP). Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students are recognized before a CNN town hall broadcast, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Fla.(Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP). Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students are recognized before a CNN town hall broadcast, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Fla.
    Republican Sen. Marco Rubio put on defensive at televised town hall event by angry students, teachers and parents demanding stronger gun-control measures after school shooting rampage.More >>
    Republican Sen. Marco Rubio put on defensive at televised town hall event by angry students, teachers and parents demanding stronger gun-control measures after school shooting rampage.More >>
  • It's OK to use nasal spray flu vaccine again, US panel says

    It's OK to use nasal spray flu vaccine again, US panel says

    Thursday, February 22 2018 7:56 AM EST2018-02-22 12:56:44 GMT
    Federal panel says it's OK for doctors to start using a kid-friendly nasal spray flu vaccine again.More >>
    Federal panel says it's OK for doctors to start using a kid-friendly nasal spray flu vaccine again.More >>
  • Correction: Florida Shooting-Mental Health story

    Correction: Florida Shooting-Mental Health story

    Thursday, February 22 2018 7:56 AM EST2018-02-22 12:56:38 GMT
    (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, File). FILE - In a Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018 file photo, students hold their hands in the air as they are evacuated by police from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla, after a shooter op...(Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, File). FILE - In a Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018 file photo, students hold their hands in the air as they are evacuated by police from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla, after a shooter op...
    The U.S. medical community is voicing mounting frustration over the Trump administration's focus on mental illness to fight mass violence.More >>
    The U.S. medical community is voicing mounting frustration over the Trump administration's focus on mental illness to fight mass violence.More >>

By MARCIA DUNN
AP Aerospace Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - The NASA spacecraft that gave us close-ups of Pluto has set a record for the farthest photos ever taken.

In December - while 3.79 billion miles (6.12 billion kilometers) from Earth - the New Horizons spacecraft snapped a picture of a star cluster. The photo surpassed the "Pale Blue Dot" images of Earth taken in 1990 by NASA's Voyager 1.

The images for "Pale Blue Dot" - part of a composite - were taken 3.75 billion miles (6.06 billion kilometers) away.

New Horizons took more photos as it sped deeper into the cosmos in December. These pictures show two objects in the Kuiper Belt, the so-called twilight zone on the fringes of our solar system.

NASA released the images this week.

New Horizons flew past Pluto in 2015. It's headed toward an even closer encounter with another icy world, 1 billion miles (1.6 billion kilometers) beyond Pluto, on Jan. 1, 2019. The targeted object is known as 2014 MU69; the spacecraft will pass within 2,175 miles (3,500 kilometers).

"New Horizons just couldn't be better ... we're bearing down on our flyby target," said lead scientist Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

New Horizons is currently in electronic hibernation. Flight controllers at a Johns Hopkins University lab in Laurel, Maryland, will awaken the spacecraft in June and start getting it ready for the flyby.

The spacecraft was launched in 2006.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.