Farthest photos ever taken, from nearly 4 billion miles away

This December 2017 false-color image made available by NASA in February 2018 shows KBO (Kuiper Belt object) 2012 HZ84. This image is, for now, one of the farthest pictures from Earth ever captured by a spacecraft. It was made by the New Horizons at 3.79 billion miles from Earth. (NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute via AP)

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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 (6 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.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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