NASA celebrates anniversary of Pluto mission with stunning flyover movie

NASA celebrates anniversary of Pluto mission with stunning flyover movie

NASA celebrates anniversary of Pluto mission with stunning flyover movie

The only bummer is there's no audio - I'd recommend Elton John's "Rocket Man" or R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly" if you want some soothing, appropriately themed background tunes.

Members of the New Horizons mission team put together the animation using data collected by the spacecraft, as well as elevation models of Pluto's surface.

The other video gives a flyover look at 750-mile-wide (1,200 km) Charon, the largest of Pluto's five moons.

The Pluto flyover begins at highlands near a nitrogen ice plain informally named Sputnik Planitia, passes a pock-marked landscape bordered by alien mountain ranges and ends over the Tartarus Dorsa's "bladed terrain".

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft made a historic flight through the Pluto system on July 14, 2015. Visible to the right are blocky mountain ranges inside the plains.

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The Charon flyover, meanwhile, surveys the canyon Serenity Chasma, before sweeping over Dorothy Gale crater and Mordor Macula, the dark polar hood of Charon. Note: Click on the image to view in the highest resolution.

A caveat: The newly released videos don't show exactly what a human visitor to the Pluto system would see.

They have a resolution of 985 feet (300 meters) per pixel and include data uncovered by scientists since the encounter.

"The complexity of the Pluto system - from its geology to its satellite system to its atmosphere - has been beyond our wildest imagination", said Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

NASA claims the video offers us "a new perspective" of the planet, given that the imagery allowed for a film that gets closer to the planet's surface than New Horizons ever did. "These new maps from the landmark exploration of Pluto by NASA's New Horizons mission in 2015 will help unravel these mysteries and are for everyone to enjoy".

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