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.