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Queen's Brian May goes cosmic with new song to celebrate Ultima Thule sighting
Is it too much to say that Queen founding member, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, and certified astrophysicist Brian May’s new release has a ton of star power?
OK, we’re not talking about star exploration just yet, but NASA’s New Horizons space probe is flying higher than Freddie Mercury's falsetto, having just taken a revelatory pic of the most distant object ever explored in our Solar System: Ultima Thule, some 6.5 billion kilometers out there in the Kuiper Belt.
To celebrate such a stellar achievement, May has released his official music video for “New Horizons (Ultima Thule Mix),” which gives a whole new meaning to interplanetary rock. The video virtually travels from launch into the depths of space in an effort to celebrate the 12-year journey of the far-reaching probe, as “Brian’s personal tribute to the on-going NASA New Horizons mission,” according to the Queen Official channel's description.
Of course, such a rollicking space tune coming from May should come as no surprise, as he’s the sole songwriter on perhaps the greatest space opera aria of all time, “Flash,” from the Flash Gordon soundtrack. And while this new song might not save every one of us, it’s still pretty darn epic, especially when set against the visuals in the video.
But before "Flash" was even a flash in May’s eyes, way back in 1974 the musician was studying light reflected off the solar system’s dust as a Ph.D. candidate in astrophysics at Imperial College London. After having to put that off to be in one of the biggest bands in the history of the world, May went back to school and finished up his degree work in 2007.
And May must be pretty good at that whole astrophysicisting thing, because in 2015, the Queen founding member (who was actually knighted by the Queen) was named as a Science Collaborator on the New Horizons team when it was studying Pluto. According to Smithsonian, “In addition to sifting through some of the images and information gleaned from New Horizons, May compiled the first high-quality stereo image of Pluto.”
All the more reason to blare "New Horizons (Ultima Thule Mix)" on your own high-quality stereo, don’t you think?