NASA craft sends farthest photos ever taken from nearly 4 billion miles away

The photo surpassed the "Pale Blue Dot" images of Earth taken in 1990 by NASA's Voyager 1.

This illustration provided by NASA shows the New Horizons spacecraft. The probe whipped past Pluto in 2015 and is headed to 2014 MU69 for an attempted 2019 flyby of the tiny, icy world on the edge of the solar system. (NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI via AP)

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 nearly 4 billion miles 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. 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 a close encounter with another icy world, 1 billion miles beyond Pluto, on Jan. 1, 2019.

Learn more about NASA’s New Horizons mission here.