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Queen Guitarist Brian May Shares Movie Of New Horizons Ultima Thule Flyby

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Queen guitarist Brian May has released a music video that features the first-ever flyby of NASA mission New Horizons of Ultima Thule.

The 49-second time-lapse video was created by New Horizons deputy project scientist John Spencer, a researcher at Southwest Research Institute in Boulder.

Ethereal Music Video

The video shows the bilobate object against a field of stars in the Sagittarius star cloud. The Ultima Thule was shown growing in size until the flyby on New Years' Eve 2018 coming up to New Years' Day 2019, then showing its dark side as the navigator flew beyond.

"We explore because we are human and we want to know," reads the spoken lyrics featured in the video.

To create the new music and video, May made use of NASA's visual data from the flyby.

"To produce this movie, it took 13 years of space travel, about 700 million dollars, and the expertise of hundreds of NASA engineers, navigators, astrophysicists and rocket scientists," May wrote in an Instagram post.

Brian May And Space Science

May who has a Ph.D. in astrophysics has been involved in several space exploration programs, including NASA's New Horizons probe of Pluto led by mission principal investigator Alan Stern. The veteran rocker and space enthusiast is working with the New Horizon team's stereo image experts.

May previously released the "New Horizons" track to celebrate the January flyby. It premiered on NASA TV and the mission's YouTube channels.

Ultima Thule

The mission made a flyby of a remote Kuiper Belt Object called Ultima Thule, also officially known as the 2014 MU69 that measures roughly 19 miles from end to end. Scientists revealed the object as a contact binary that consists of two connected spheres.

The flyby started on New Year's Eve and culminated on Jan. 1. The mission came within 1 percent of its closest approach aim point or roughly 2,174 miles from the Ultima Thule.

The New Horizons team dubbed the two lobes of the bilobate object as "Ultima" for the larger sphere and "Thule" for the smaller sphere. It is regarded as the most distant object seen by a spacecraft from Earth. It has a distance of approximately 4 billion miles from the Earth's sun.

"Today I'm proud to reveal this very short movie which depicts completely faithfully the whole approach sequence - plus the glimpse the probe captured looking back towards the Sun at the 'crescent' view of the KBO after the encounter," May said.

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