NASA researchers have released a stunning new video of New Horizons' long trip to Pluto, stitched together from high-resolution photos taken along the way.
It was a historic summer for space exploration as NASA’s New Horizons probed the farthest known reaches of our solar system and snapped photos of the mysterious dwarf planet, Pluto and its moons. According to a report from Discovery News, the photos taken by New Horizons as it flew past Pluto have been compiled into a stunning video by the team at NASA.
New Horizons finally arrived at its destination for a brief period on July 14 this summer. The craft came within 7,800 miles of the planet’s surface, the closest fly-by ever performed by a NASA probe. As New Horizons continues to blast towards the Kuiper Belt at an astonishing 31,000 miles per hour, it delivers new images to NASA scientists each day.
The video captures the probe’s approach to Pluto and its moons. It shows in high-resolution the full view of the planet, and a ring of sunlight scattered by the planet as the probe moves around to the rear.
Stuart Robbins, research scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, CO, created the video by meticulously adjusting the timescale between image frames to make everything transition smoothly.
“The final product goes from one second of movie time equaling 30 hours at the beginning and end, to one second of movie time equaling 30 minutes for the closest-approach section,” Robbins explains.
You can watch the video and experience the approach of Pluto yourself here: