NASA Spacecraft so Far Away It Can See Stars from Different Angle
An extremely-distant NASA spacecraft is giving us the ability to look at the universe from a new perspective.
New Horizons is a NASA probe that was launched in the beginning of 2006. Since then, Popular Science reports, it’s traveled 4.2 billion miles from Earth. It’s so far away that when it looks out at the sky, nearby stars appear to be in different places than they do when seen from Earth.
New Horizons captured images of two nearby stars, Proxima Centauri and Wolf 359, in April. Precise instruments measure the position of distant stars relying on slight shifts in perception called parallax, Popular Science reports. But this is the first time that such a shift is visible to the eye.
“It’s fair to say that New Horizons is looking at an alien sky, unlike what we see from Earth,” New Horizons principal researcher Alan Stern said in a NASA press release. “And that has allowed us to do something that had never been accomplished before — to see the nearest stars visibly displaced on the sky from the positions we see them on Earth.”