This record-breaking photo was taken from 6 billion km away

NASA probe “New Horizons” snaps farthest-ever photo from Earth

New Horizons probe captures images at record distance from Earth

Captured by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, the images were gathered at a greatest distance from Earth than any in the history of mankind.

Interplanetary station, New Horizons has established a record, having received images of celestial bodies with the maximum available distance from the Earth to date.

With its innovative imaging technology (Long Range Reconnaissance Imager), New Horizons immortalized several space objects, as well as some other dwarf planets in the Kupier Belt.

For the two record-breaking Kuiper Belt object images, it took about 4 hours to transmit each image and 6 hours for the data to travel to Earth, Alan Stern, the principal investigator on the New Horizons mission, told Live Science. At a distance of 3.79 billion miles, or 40.9 astronomical units from our cosmic home, the image took the crown from Voyager 1's "Pale Blue Dot" as the image taken farthest from Earth.

The mission also broke a record that has been stagnant since 1990, when the Voyager 1 spacecraft sent back a final capture of Earth before the cameras on the craft were lost.

Voyager, by comparison, was 3.75 billion miles (6.06 billion kilometers) from Earth when it captured its famous photo in 1990.

New Horizons snapped these two farthest-out shots, of Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) 2012 HZ84 and 2012 HE85, on December 5, 2017.

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These new record-setting images are also the closest-ever images taken of KBOs.

About two hours later, New Horizons later broke the record again with images of Kuiper Belt objects 2012 HZ84 and 2012 HE85.

New Horizons originally launched way back in early 2006, and it the spacecraft has made close passes of a number of planets during its more than a decade of cruising through our Solar System.

The latter shows a look at Kuiper Belt objects HZ84 and 2012 HE85.

NASA said New Horizons is in the hibernation mode now, awaiting its next adventure due January 1, 2019, at which time it will fly past an Kuiper Belt object (KBO) named 2014 MU69.

New Horizons is now in electronic hibernation. So, after exploring Pluto in 2015, New Horizons, started on its secondary mission to explore 2014 MU69, a Kuiper Belt Object (KBO), which it should reach in 2019.

According to NASA, this New Year's Day feat will be the farthest planetary encounter in the history of space exploration. NASA says mission controllers will "bring the spacecraft out of its electronic slumber" this coming summer as preparation for its next major flyby.

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