NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, which earlier this year sent back dramatic pictures from a close fly-by of Pluto, has captured an image of a distant, unidentified body moving through the Kuiper Belt.
NASA scientists are excited by the prospects of the spacecraft imaging many more in the next few years if the agency gets the go-ahead to extend the mission.
The animation above consists of four frames taken by the spacecraft’s Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) last month and spaced an hour apart against a background of stars.
The body is about 150 kilometres wide ancient body and officially called 1994 JR1. It is about 5.3 billion kilometres from the Sun, but only 280 million kilometres away from New Horizons.
Read science facts, not fiction...
There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.