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LORRI's First Light: Negative Image

On Aug. 29, 2006, the New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) opened its launch cover door and took its first image in space, of Messier 7, a star cluster in our Milky Way galaxy. This "negative" image shows the center of Messier 7, which was catalogued by Charles Messier in 1764, and described by Ptolemy around 130 A.D. Stars to at least 12th magnitude are clearly visible, meaning LORRI's sensitivity and noise levels in space are consistent with its pre-launch calibrations on the ground. Directionally, north is at the top of the images, east is to the left.

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

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