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parallax shift from new horizons

12 Jun 2020, 00:57 UTC
parallax shift from new horizons
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Check out these sets of images. What you see the phenomenon called “parallax shift”. The first image in each set is the view of a star, either Proxima Centauri or Wolf 359, as seen from Earth. The second view is from a very unique perspective: the New Horizons spacecraft.

A comparison of views of the star Proxima Centauri from Earth and the New Horizons spacecraft, illustrating the parallax shift in view between the two locations. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/University of Louisville/Harvard and Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics/Mt. Lemmon Observatory.

A comparison of views of the nearby star Wolf 359 from Earth and the New Horizons spacecraft, illustrating the parallax shift in view between the two locations. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/University of Louisville/Harvard and Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics/Mt. Lemmon Observatory.

New Horizons is currently about 6.6 billion kilometers away from Earth, traveling out through the Kuiper Belt. That distance gives it a very different view of the two stars.

Notice how the scene shifts in each view. That’s the effect of parallax—viewing an object from two different locations. Seeing it like this is reminiscent of Clyde Tombaugh’s view of Pluto through a ...

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