New Horizons Broke the Record of the “Pale Blue Dot” Picture
The New Horizons probe was launched in 2006 in a mission to explore Pluto. First, it had a flyby of Jupiter and used this massive planet’s gravitational force to boost its speed. Then, in 2015, it arrived at the vicinity of Pluto and recorded unprecedented pictures from Pluto and its moons.
After that, the probe started to explore the Kuiper’s belt, which is an asteroid belt beyond Neptune, including the dwarf planet Pluto.
On Dec. 5, 2017, the New Horizons probe took pictures of the celestial objects in the Kuiper Belt at a distance of over 3.79 billion miles from Earth.
(Image credit: NASA) The New Horizons probe captured pictures of the Kuiper belt objects and dwarf planets at record-breaking distance from Earth.
The Pale Blue Dot picture was shot by Voyager 1 on Feb. 14, 1990 at a distance of 40 astronomical units from Sun. One astronomical unit is equivalent to 150,000,000 km. In other words, the picture was taken at a distance of 3.75 billion miles away from Earth.
(Image credit: NASA) In this picture recorded by the cameras of Voyager 1, Earth is the “Pale Blue Dot” in the middle of the rightmost beam. Carl Sagan’s 1994 book, “Pale Blue Dot,” is an allusion to this picture.