NASA’s dramatic Pluto flyby video lets you soar over the dwarf planet

NASA’s dramatic Pluto flyby video lets you soar over the dwarf planet
Charon, upper left, and Pluto, lower right, are shown to scale, but they appear much closer to each other than they really are. NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Charon, upper left, and Pluto, lower right, are shown to scale, but they appear much closer to each other than they really are. NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

Sometimes, you just need a minute or two to get away from it all. NASA has your back, thanks to two new videos created with its New Horizons mission data.

Ever since the spacecraft reached everyone’s favorite dwarf planet in 2015, it has been sharing unprecedented views of the far-away world. But it’s one thing to see an image and another to see a video like this.

These videos are in a whole different ballpark, letting you imagine flying over Pluto and Charon — from even closer to the surface than the spacecraft got.

Source: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI/Paul Schenk and John Blackwell, Lunar and Planetary Institute

The videos are particularly adept at conveying the wide range of terrains New Horizons spotted. That’s in part thanks to some movie magic — NASA chose to exaggerate differences in depth by a factor of two to three. Pluto’s lowest and highest elevations are only a few miles apart according to high-resolution maps of the two bodies also published on Friday.

Source: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI/Paul Schenk and John Blackwell, Lunar and Planetary Institute