New Horizons Parallax Images

These images of Proxima Centauri and Wolf 359 were taken by the Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on the New Horizons spacecraft, and by telescopes on Earth, on April 22 and 23, 2020, respectively. Anyone with appropriate software can use the images -- which are identical to what the New Horizons science team uses for analysis -- to generate their own stereo versions.

Learn more about the New Horizons Parallax program »

Images and Formats

The New Horizons images come in two formats:

  • FITS, which is commonly used by professional and amateur astronomers, preserves full image fidelity and includes technical data about the image.
  • 16-bit PNG, which is readable by a wide range of image processing software.

There are three images of each star, taken consecutively, as shown in the table below.

Download New Horizons Parallax Images (zip)
Image Number Target Date and Time (Universal Time) Exposure Time (Seconds) Right Ascension (J2000), Degrees Declination (J2000), Degrees
449855930 Proxima Centauri  4/22/2020  10:06:52 0.50 217.32087 -62.68836
449855931 Proxima Centauri  4/22/2020  10:06:53 0.50 217.32202 -62.68683
449855932 Proxima Centauri  4/22/2020  10:06:54 0.50 217.32416 -62.68516
449933827 Wolf 359  4/23/2020  7:45:07 4.97 164.09702 6.99550
449933832 Wolf 359  4/23/2020  7:45:12 4.97 164.09730 6.99552
449933837 Wolf 359  4/23/2020  7:45:17 4.97 164.09710 6.99529

Pictures from Earth

The ground-based images, provided in FITS format, were selected among several provided to the mission after a call for interested amateur and professional astronomers to obtain matching images.

The Proxima Centauri image was obtained on April 22 at 12:51 UT (8:51 a.m. ET) by Edward Gomez using a remotely operated 0.4-meter telescope at the Siding Spring node of the Las Cumbres Observatory in Australia. This is nine minutes earlier than the New Horizons image, relative to Proxima Centauri time. The timing accounts for New Horizons being nearly three light hours closer to Proxima Centauri than Earth when the images were taken.

Download Proxima Centauri Image (fits)

The Wolf 359 image was obtained on April 23 at 04:37 UT (12:37 a.m. ET) with the University of Louisville 0.6-meter telescope located at Mt. Lemmon Observatory, near Tucson, Arizona, operated remotely by John F. Kielkopf (University of Louisville) and Karen A. Collins (Harvard and Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics). This is 37 minutes later than the New Horizons image, relative to Wolf 359 time. The timing accounts for New Horizons being nearly four light hours farther from Wolf 359 than Earth when the images were taken.

Download Wolf 359 Image (fits)


The mission team processed the images to match those taken by New Horizons.

Processing steps included:

  • Removing anomalously bright pixels (due to detector imperfections);
  • Removing subtle electronic noise;
  • Shifting the images to align the stars;
  • Removing bright pixels caused by cosmic ray strikes;
  • Enlarging the images;
  • Adding the images together to improve quality;
  • Adjusting alignment, brightness, contrast and sharpness to match the Earth-based images

Your Turn!

Using software and methods of their choosing, amateur astronomers can combine their images with the New Horizons pictures, and post the 3D parallax products on Twitter, Instagram or other social media with the hashtag #NHparallax . The mission team will search this hashtag for the results and post some of these images on the New Horizons website and mission social media accounts.

If you do use the ground-based images on this page, please provide credit for Proxima Centauri (Edward Gomez, Las Cumbres Observatory, Siding Spring node) and Wolf 359 (Mt. Lemmon Observatory, John F. Kielkopf [University of Louisville] and Karen A. Collins [Harvard and Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics]). The credit for New Horizons images is NASA/Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute.

Have fun!