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blb
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Reged: 11/25/05

Loc: Piedmont NC
Looking for Pluto?
      #5907798 - 06/07/13 11:47 AM

Is anyone planning to hunt for Pluto this summer and what maps or information are you going to use for finding the former planet?


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leviathan
sage


Reged: 11/29/11

Loc: Azerbaijan
Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: blb]
      #5907919 - 06/07/13 01:10 PM

Yes, I plan. I saw once last year in 8", now I want to image it. Stellarium is OK.

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JasonBurry
sage


Reged: 04/27/12

Loc: Cape Spencer, NB, Canada
Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: leviathan]
      #5907942 - 06/07/13 01:20 PM

I'll be using Cartes du Ciel...

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Rick Woods
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Reged: 01/27/05

Loc: Inner Solar System
Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: JasonBurry]
      #5907982 - 06/07/13 01:47 PM

Nah, I saw it well in 1988 or '89. It was cool, but not something I'd go out of my way to see again. (At least, until I change my mind.)
Pluto is one target for which go-to is practically useless.


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azure1961p
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Reged: 01/17/09

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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5908013 - 06/07/13 01:58 PM

I saw Pluto once and simply didn't care. It'd be more captivating of Charon were resolvable making this a shifting double object but its just so banal instead. Its nice thought good to contemplate with the knowledge of what it is but its a paltry return on any kind of wow factor for me. Neptune is another matter all together.

Pete


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Cames
sage


Reged: 08/04/08

Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: blb]
      #5909248 - 06/08/13 06:54 AM

It is my yearly pilgrimmage to find it.

Years and years ago when I was introduced to amateur stargazing and telescopes, conventional wisdom held that finding and identifying Pluto was next to impossible. My first telescope was not up to the challenge at any rate. And the available locator charts in astronomy magazines of day weren't really detailed enough to make me, a first-timer, confident that I had actually seen it. The Pluto mystique has stuck with me ever since those days and it has become one of the benchmarks I use to judge if I am still at the top of my game.

A night of excellent seeing (minimal scintillation) edit:(actually I need a couple of nights...so that I can confirm that it has moved), a 10-inch Dob at 250X and computer-generated charts from a decent astronomy planetarium program (I use Skytools 3 Pro) gets the job done for me.

------
C

Edited by Cames (06/08/13 07:14 AM)


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Sarkikos
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Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Suburban Maryland, USA
Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: blb]
      #5909608 - 06/08/13 11:42 AM

Quote:

Is anyone planning to hunt for Pluto this summer and what maps or information are you going to use for finding the former planet?





Nope. Nothing to see here, folks. Move on.

About in the same category for me as variable stars, X-ray sources, and quasars. Eh ...

Mike


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Cotts
Just Wondering
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Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5909995 - 06/08/13 03:54 PM

Well, I found it in my 16" (not very difficult to do, I must say....) while observing at David Lev's Adirondack Astronomy retreat last summer. I called out that I had Pluto in my eyepiece and right away there was a goodly lineup at the eyepiece and every viewer was thrilled to bits to see it. So was I......

Such a tiny speck - I,just fired up my imagination and the thrill came along immediately.

Dave


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Dave Mitsky
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: Cotts]
      #5910106 - 06/08/13 05:03 PM

I look at Pluto each year and find nothing more boring about it than a great many other dim celestial objects. In fact, watching its motion over a period of days or weeks can be rather interesting.

The charts in the RASC Observer's Handbook and Sky & Telescope are usually sufficient, although a computer generated printout can be really useful.

Dave Mitsky


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mich_al
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/10/09

Loc: Rural central lower Michigan ...
Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: Dave Mitsky]
      #5910120 - 06/08/13 05:15 PM

Yep, it's a challenge I take up. Saw it last year and gonna try again soon using Stellarium.

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blb
Post Laureate


Reged: 11/25/05

Loc: Piedmont NC
Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: mich_al]
      #5910280 - 06/08/13 07:39 PM

Quote:

I saw Pluto once and simply didn't care. It'd be more captivating of Charon were resolvable making this a shifting double object but its just so banal instead. Its nice thought good to contemplate with the knowledge of what it is but its a paltry return on any kind of wow factor for me.



Quote:

Nope. Nothing to see here, folks. Move on.



You are correct, there is nothing to see but a dim 14.7 or .8 magnitude object that looks like a dim star. But it is not a star, it was once the 9th planet in our solar system and now it is a member of those objects now known as Kiper Belt objects. Oh yea it moves too, unlike quasars that so many like to hunt down.

I too have seen Pluto and there is no wow factor there but only a sense of accomplishment in being able to find such a faint object, not unlike finding a very dim planetary nebula that you have looked for many times. For me it is about the chase.


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Rick Woods
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Reged: 01/27/05

Loc: Inner Solar System
Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: blb]
      #5910427 - 06/08/13 09:22 PM

When I saw it, it was mag 13.7 and pretty easy in my 8" Newt (under very dark skies). There was an excellent chart in Astronomy magazine, and I had no trouble identifying it. I looked again the next night, and it had moved exactly as I expected.
When New Horizons goes past it in a couple of years and we get some first-hand info and pictures, the imagination factor should fire up again. I've got the artillery now to nail it no matter how faint it gets.


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Kraus
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/10/12

Loc: Georgia.
Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5913377 - 06/10/13 03:30 PM


According to Dawes' limit, one would need an objective of 45.6 inches or 116 cm in diameter to resolve Pluto's .1" size. So how could one see it in an 8 incher? Hmmm....


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Rick Woods
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Reged: 01/27/05

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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: Kraus]
      #5913458 - 06/10/13 04:01 PM

I didn't say I resolved a disk. I saw it as a mag 13.7 star, easy in the 8", but not very interesting.

Would you please post the calculations that led you to such a statement, and what it is that requires that size of a telescope? This site is full of people who have seen Pluto in 8" or less scopes; are you suggesting that they're all mistaken?


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Sarkikos
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Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Suburban Maryland, USA
Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: Kraus]
      #5913460 - 06/10/13 04:01 PM

Maybe he didn't resolve Pluto. But he did see it. Can you resolve a star?

Mike


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Sarkikos
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Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Suburban Maryland, USA
Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5913463 - 06/10/13 04:02 PM

Yes, what Rick said...

Mike


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Dave Mitsky
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Reged: 04/08/02

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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: Kraus]
      #5913603 - 06/10/13 05:10 PM

Quote:


According to Dawes' limit, one would need an objective of 45.6 inches or 116 cm in diameter to resolve Pluto's .1" size. So how could one see it in an 8 incher? Hmmm....




Brian Skiff, a professional astronomer on the staff of the Lowell Observatory and a very active amateur astronomer, has detected Pluto with a 70mm Tele Vue Pronto refractor from Anderson Mesa, where the LONEOS telescope is located. Brian took my wife and I there one night when we visited Arizona in 2001.

http://www.lowell.edu/users/elgb/observing_site.html

While in Arizona I also met Jeff Medkeff, an extremely well-versed and talented amateur astronomer (who unfortunately passed away at age 39), who reported observing Pluto with an 80mm refractor.

Scott Ewart, an excellent observer who works for Al Nagler, has seen Pluto with a 4.5" Newtonian.

Dave Mitsky


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azure1961p
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/17/09

Loc: USA
Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5913665 - 06/10/13 05:48 PM

Quote:

Maybe he didn't resolve Pluto. But he did see it. Can you resolve a star?

Mike




Yeah... I'm not getting the point here. It could be .0000001 of an arc second but if its bright enough Rick or anyone would see it through an
8".

It WOULD be wild to see it resolved as a disc through a huge scope but the seeing you'd need to make it happen would also make it a challenge - to say nothing of the ladder.

Pete


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blb
Post Laureate


Reged: 11/25/05

Loc: Piedmont NC
Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5913735 - 06/10/13 06:28 PM

Quote:

According to Dawes' limit, one would need an objective of 45.6 inches or 116 cm in diameter to resolve Pluto's .1" size. So how could one see it in an 8 incher? Hmmm....



Yes, Hummm indeed! Who said anything about resolving this planet , which has not even been accomplished with a 30 meter telescope, I don't think. We are talking about seeing a magnitude 13 to 14.8 point source of light and following it across the sky as it moves. That,s not unlike following and identifying an asteroid. Hey, I have seen stars a faint as mag. 15.6 with my 10-inch dob from the Blue Ridge Parkway in western North Carolina at only 300x and I have seen mag. 13.6 stars beside galaxies with my 4-inch TV102 refractor, so seeing a mag. 14.8 planet as a stellar point is well within grasp for most amateurs from a reasonably dark site. All you have to do is try and find it. The fun is in the hunt or chase. At least it is for me, maybe not others.


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Rick Woods
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Reged: 01/27/05

Loc: Inner Solar System
Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: blb]
      #5913932 - 06/10/13 08:27 PM

The HST has resolved Pluto to a rough degree; I have very coarse charts of the surface albedo features as seen by it in several books.

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