The rendering I’ve been waiting for is finally here! A conceptual video of the flyby of Pluto from far away, leading through closest approach and turning back to see the dark side, all together. This will give you a sense of the motion of New Horizons, and the state of the Pluto system in the Kuiper Belt.
The credit goes not just to NASA, but to space enthusiast Björn Jónsson, who created the rendering from the latest Pluto images and data from New Horizons.
The strangest part of watching this was the sense of longing I felt as we fly past the dwarf planet. I felt myself wanting to pull back and stay with the lonely world, to learn more of its secrets. I wanted to explore the terrain, see the moons, learn about the atmosphere, and unlock its mysteries. I’m sure many of the New Horizons team felt the same way, yet this is the only visit to Pluto we will have until another craft is sent to learn more, likely a few decades from now.
So long for now Pluto, thanks for the memories, and for the science!