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Hello Pluto

A rare chance to see the dwarf planet Pluto among the many lights of the Milky Way.  It is the dot framed by the two lines near the center of the picture.

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About Mike Lemons
I'm a guy in his 40's who has been bumming around the net for years. I am married to a wonderful woman, and have 3 gorgeous kids.

4 Responses to Hello Pluto

  1. Dwarf planets are planets too. You can find out more about this ongoing debate from my Pluto Blog at http://laurele.livejournal.com .

    Some friends and I tried very hard to see Pluto using a 14-inch telescope at a dark sky site in New Jersey on July 3; unfortunately, we were unable to find this exact patch of sky with the dark nebula. Being a big-time Plutophile, I was hoping to see the planet for the first time as an early birthday present (my birthday is July 10). Since we’re going to have to try again, I’m curious: when is the next good chance for viewing Pluto? How long will it stay in front of this dark nebula?

    • Mike Lemons says:

      Laurel…I think you are going to have a very challenging time trying to view Pluto with a 14 inch telescope. I would recommend contacting your local astronomy club if you have one near by and perhaps they can assist you with your pursuit of the planet. Good luck, and let me know if you are successful 🙂

      • This effort was done by friends in my astronomy club at the official observing site of United Astronomy Clubs of New Jersey. I wasn’t the one trying to find Pluto; experienced club members, including a professional astronomer, were the ones who made the effort. Why is a 14-inch telescope not good enough for seeing Pluto? From what I’ve read, an eight-inch telescope is the minimum needed. I appreciate any additional feedback you can provide.

      • Mike Lemons says:

        Laurel, I am not a pro by any means. I do know that pluto is so very far away and is often quite dim in the background of stars that it is very difficult to pick up. This rare opportunity with the dark nebula behind offered a chance to “clear the noise” so to speak.

        I was only interring that a 14inch telescope would have great difficulty with it being such a small and relatively dim target. I am sure you can pick it up, but it will not be easy, and I wouldn’t expect too much detail.

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