First Full-Res LORRI Image of MU69 from New Horizons


Explanation: This Picture of the Day was taken on December 24, 2018, by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft. The camera used was LORRI, the LOng-Range Reconnaissance Imager, which is a 1 megapixel camera (1024 x 1024 pixels). LORRI has two modes, 4x4 and 1x1. 4x4 mode takes images and shrinks the size to 256 x 256 pixels which lets us see fainter objects. 1x1 mode is the full resolution. This image is the first attempt – and successful! – to see our flyby target in 1x1 mode. The image is actually a combination of three images, each taken for 0.5 seconds, averaged together to reduce the noise (see all the grey speckles? that’s image noise, just like speaker noise if you turn the volume up). But, it shows that we’re getting closer and honing in on our target!

Image credit: NASA / Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory / Southwest Research Institute