NASA's Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt
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 »
The New Horizons images come in two formats:
There are three images of each star, taken consecutively, as shown in the table below.
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.
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.
The mission team processed the images to match those taken by New Horizons.
Processing steps included:
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.