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Since then, Voyager 1 hasn't taken any photos.

Take a good, hard look at the photos you see above, because there is something truly astonishing about those pictures. Its latest snaps may not be its most spectacular, but are pioneering in their own way as the farthest images ever snapped away from the Earth.

New Horizon's mission to Pluto may be over, but the NASA satellite has just sent back the 21st century's "Pale Blue Dot". It extends in a disc around our sun, beyond the orbit of Neptune.

NASA said in a statement that New Horizons snapped a picture of a group of stars known as the "Wishing Well" when the spacecraft was about 3.79 billion miles (6.12 billion kilometers) from Earth.

Shortly after midnight Eastern Time on January 1, 2019 - NASA's New Horizons spacecraft will buzz by the most primitive and most distant object ever explored.

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is now one of the most distant human-made objects, and it just took the most distant photograph ever.

The Pale Blue Dot images were taken at a distance of 3.75 billion miles (6.06 billion kilometers), and show Earth itself as a mere speck amid space. Another famous space probe, Voyager 1, was the previous record holder for over 27 years.

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New Horizons snapped these two farthest-out shots, of Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) 2012 HZ84 and 2012 HE85, on December 5, 2017. About two hours later, New Horizons later broke the record again. "That New Year's flight past MU69 will be the farthest planetary encounter in history, happening one billion miles beyond the Pluto system-which New Horizons famously explored in July 2015". It plans to observe around two dozen objects in the belt, including dwarf planets and "Centaurs"-objects with unstable orbits that cross the orbits of the solar system's giant planets". Specifically, New Horizons is targeting 2014 MU69, a mysterious object (or pair of two objects) which Alan Stern, mission principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), has called "provocative" and a "scientific bonanza". "The spacecraft also is making almost continuous measurements of the plasma, dust and neutral-gas environment along its path".

The New Horizons spacecraft is healthy and is now in hibernation. New Horizons began its Kuiper Belt mission previous year.

The following is an excerpt from Wikipedia describing the New Horizons spacecraft.

"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, the mission's principal investigator, said in the NASA statement. It is the fifth of five artificial objects to achieve the escape velocity that will allow them to leave the Solar System.

Launched in 2006, the New Horizons mission stayed true to its name. After a brief encounter with asteroid 132524 APL, New Horizons proceeded to Jupiter, making its closest approach on February 28, 2007, at a distance of 2.3 million kilometers (1.4 million miles). For now, New Horizons won't be sending home any snapshots.

New Horizons is still on an active mission to visit the Kuiper Belt.


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