A tiny NASA space probe which ‘slept’ for nine years and has travelled 3.79 billion years to the edge of our solar system has made history this week.
The New Horizons probe took an image which is the furthest ever created from Earth, beating a record set by NASA’s Voyager probe.
The probe is powered by a Star Trek-style ion drive and is journeying into the icy Kuiper Belt, one of the last truly unknown parts of our solar system.
The frame of the Wishing Well galactic star cluster, taken by the probe’s Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) was taken when New Horizons was 3.79 billion miles from Earth.
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New Horizons was even farther from home than NASA’s Voyager 1 when it captured the famous “Pale Blue Dot” image of Earth.
That picture was part of a composite of 60 images looking back at the solar system, on Feb. 14, 1990, when Voyager was 3.75 billion miles from Earth.
Voyager 1’s cameras were turned off shortly after that portrait, leaving its distance record unchallenged for more than 27 years.