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Nasa joins Houston orchestra for Planets special

A "great performers" season, showcasing the Barbican’s classical music programme, will kick off this autumn as the Houston Symphony play Gustav Holst’s symphonic classic The Planets on 16 October.

During the performance, high-definition footage from the latest Nasa explorations of our solar system will be projected on to the stage to accompany the music.

The project had its world premiere in Houston in January and will be performed twice at the Barbican. The acclaimed film-maker and scientist Dr Duncan Copp, a member of the Nasa team responsible for creating the first detailed geological maps of Venus, was commissioned to create the new film to accompany the live performance of The Planets.

A Barbican spokeswoman said the film will show the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto and Mercury. “It is quite extraordinary footage that we have never seen before,” she added.

A trailer on YouTube has so far attracted nearly 6,000 hits.