Historic photos of Kuiper Belt objects 2012 HZ84 and 2012 HE85 (not pictured) were taken on Dec. 5, 2017, while New Horizons was roughly 41 times as far from Earth than the Earth is from the Sun. Image Credit: NASA

Cape Canaveral, Florida: The Nasa spacecraft that gave us close-ups of Pluto has set a record for the farthest photos ever taken.

In December — while 6.12 billion kilometres 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.

The images for “Pale Blue Dot” — part of a composite — were taken 6.06 billion kilometres away.

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 an even closer encounter with another icy world, 1.6 billion kilometres beyond Pluto, on January 1, 2019. The targeted object is known as 2014 MU69. The spacecraft will pass within 3,500 kilometres.

“New Horizons just couldn’t be better ... we’re bearing down on our fly-by target,” said lead scientist Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

New Horizons is currently in electronic hibernation. Flight controllers at a Johns Hopkins University lab in Laurel, Maryland, will awaken the spacecraft in June and start getting it ready for the fly-by.

The spacecraft was launched in 2006.