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blb
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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
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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
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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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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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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
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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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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
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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
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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
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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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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
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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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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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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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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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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
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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
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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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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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azure1961p
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5914163 - 06/10/13 10:14 PM

I did get Pluto resolved in my eight inch reflector Rick.

Dont laugh, don't doubt till you've read my account. I've kept this under wraps for so long its mummified. I may not be believed but here is...

It was an unusually warm night for that time of the year when I had seen Pluto resolved. I know for a fact I saw surface detail and more so than Hst's garish attempts. The scope was the 8" of of course and at a magnification scale I can only guess at. Pluto was about the size of a baseball at arms length and Charon was a cherry.

How much to make it that big? I have no idea Rick but belief me when I tell you - they were that huge.

But how through an 8" aperture when he resolving limit I had was incredible as that??

When gravitational lensing first became documented in Einsteins cross and arcs of galaxies higher and hither and yon were being lensed into distortion via emmense galaxy clusters very far away the concept began to dawn on me that lensing was possible here on earth.

Ok right there your thinking I'm going to tell you I gravitationally bent light and that'd be ludicrous. But what changed it all was when I realized gravity need t apply here

I set about making a thermal lens whereby the 8" scope was merely the ocular to my thermal lens construct.

Ok there were pitfalls. Infact for many months it would seem everything was in the cards to make it a thorough impossibility. And I nearly gave up until I realized that there was actually nothing standing in my way but my patience. This was a profound understanding that kept m at it for as long as I did. Sheer chance and odds favored my positive results if only id allow them t unfold.

So herewith is what happens every single solitary clear night.

I waited till Pluto was high in the sky as the ecliptic allowed . I placed my scope in the center of the yard and then the thermal lensing manufacturing system was in place. It was 46 propane barbecue cans the type we are all familiar with arrayed in a giant circle around me in a diameter of 108 feet.
Attached to each propane canister was a heater . Everyone knows the glowing heating attachments for these and this was them.

Well it went like this. I had different configurations and timings but in the end I chose the following:

Run all the heaters In unison with valves servo activated. I'd run a burn for 10 minutes, then as started, so in unison they all shut off.

I wait 96 seconds. It was infact this 96 seconds that afforded me great control. For with the burn an immense plume reminiscent of a mushroom cloud thermal rosť up into the sky where by its curved convex face , aimed skyward created. focal point with my reflectors aperture affording me the resolution of an image hundreds of meters across.

For a few seconds.

Typically what was seen was horrendous defocusing of stars that actually RACED across my field of view. They positively flickered with speed. You'd think this chaotic mess of star bloat and image shift and runaway refraction was a non starter but again I realized in the repeated trying of it all sooner later Id have partial success .

-if even briefly.

When it did happen it lasted for about three seconds. The embarrassment if it was that I had no idea what I was looking at . It looked like an immense Ganymede and about as bright! It materialized seemingly out of nothing and returned just as quick but for those precious seconds the huge refractor lens rising over my home and bending the light down the tube of my reflector opened up resolutions vault and poured fourth a dazzling brilliance such as never before .

You'd think I would have been elated and developed something beyond that - harnessing the example to repeat t and refine it but as it turned out the odds were so steeply against me I never came close. Later on after a fruitless summer of failed attempts and too many barbecues I admitted defeat and a felted the resolution powerball that was handed to me was beyond hope of duplicating in even the most crude sense.

I was beside myself for months.

Now I know what you are thinking and you are going to call be a BSer but ill leave you with this my friend...

I did tell a famous Harvard grad/observer who was writing for a very high profile magazine at the time in Cambridge. Well I drew him a map - outlined the details, how the shape and correction of the refractors thermal lens varies with heat duration and output, how wind causes astigmatic thermal lensing and so forth. Months later he moved to Volcano Hawaii in search of an ever more powerful thermal lens than my design. Apparently his success has been repeated as the volcanos heat output is more robust than my fragile propane plume.

I have only my memories and so many cannisters in the basement.

Pete

Edited by azure1961p (06/10/13 10:19 PM)


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*skyguy*
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5914202 - 06/10/13 10:33 PM

Quote:



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






"One man's junk is another man's treasure."

Looking at Pluto means far more to me than just seeing a faint speck of light. It represents the determination and perseverance ... with no guarantee of success ... of its discover, Clyde Tombaugh. I have been inspired my entire life by his story and for me ... Pluto will always be the 9th planet!


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Rick Woods
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: *skyguy*]
      #5914273 - 06/10/13 11:06 PM

Pete,

Diabolically clever!

Skyguy,

Quote:

for me ... Pluto will always be the 9th planet!




For me too, bud. Dwarf planet - bah!


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Sarkikos
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5914585 - 06/11/13 07:08 AM

There does seem to be a prejudice among some planet/lunar officianados that unless the observer resolves an object or a surface feature, they have not seen it. You can see this especially in the Lunar Forum when the discussion comes around to "seeing" craterlets, in Plato for instance. Unless you can resolve a definite crater shape, you have not seen (read "resolved") the crater. Of course, by these strict standards, none of us have ever "seen" a star (Sol excepted), and most who have earned the H400 Certificate will have to return their pin in shame.

Mike


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blb
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5914692 - 06/11/13 09:20 AM

Quote:

for me ... Pluto will always be the 9th planet!



And for me too Skyguy, it will always be the 9th planet.


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blb
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: blb]
      #5914698 - 06/11/13 09:25 AM

Pete,
That's a great story. I thoroughly enjoyed it.


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Dave Mitsky
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: blb]
      #5915036 - 06/11/13 01:00 PM

Pluto's apparent magnitude is currently +14.1 (+14.05).

Cloudy Nights member David Knisely had a successful sighting with a 10" Newtonian stopped down to 94mm.

Other sightings with small apertures are listed at http://www.pietro.org/Astro_C5/Articles/PlutoVisualLog.htm

Dave Mitsky


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David Knisely
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5915132 - 06/11/13 02:04 PM

Quote:

There does seem to be a prejudice among some planet/lunar officianados that unless the observer resolves an object or a surface feature, they have not seen it. You can see this especially in the Lunar Forum when the discussion comes around to "seeing" craterlets, in Plato for instance. Unless you can resolve a definite crater shape, you have not seen (read "resolved") the crater. Of course, by these strict standards, none of us have ever "seen" a star (Sol excepted), and most who have earned the H400 Certificate will have to return their pin in shame.

Mike




I haven't really encountered this much. However, on the subject of lunar craterlets, if the craterlet does not have a bright floor or a notable ejecta blanket, it usually won't be visible even as a dot under a high sun the way some of the larger ones in Plato may appear in small scopes near the full moon. In that case, you do need to use a somewhat larger aperture to see them. I can sometimes see the central craterlet in Plato as a tiny lighter dot in an 80mm f/5 "short tube" refractor, but under a lower sun angle, it rarely appears. In any case, it never appears as the true craterlet form in that aperture rather than just as a tiny albedo feature. To get the "big four" craterlets in Plato to appear consistently as the true pits they are usually requires something around six inches of aperture (and really good seeing). To resolve cratelets in their true form as pits half filled with shadowing, a very approximate guideline is that their diameter in miles is equal to 9/D, where D is the aperture of the telescope in inches. Thus, a nine inch aperture would probably be able to show craterlets under moderately low sun angle down to about a mile across or so (and sometimes maybe a bit better than this). However (getting back to the original topic), in the case of Pluto, a number of years ago, I once detected it in my 10 inch Newtonian when it was stopped-down to 3.7 inches, so it may not require as much aperture as some books and other sources tend to indicate. Still, the larger the aperture you have available, the easier Pluto will be to see. Clear skies to you.


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Sarkikos
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: David Knisely]
      #5915194 - 06/11/13 02:42 PM

David,

Quote:

Quote:

There does seem to be a prejudice among some planet/lunar officianados that unless the observer resolves an object or a surface feature, they have not seen it. You can see this especially in the Lunar Forum when the discussion comes around to "seeing" craterlets, in Plato for instance. Unless you can resolve a definite crater shape, you have not seen (read "resolved") the crater. Of course, by these strict standards, none of us have ever "seen" a star (Sol excepted), and most who have earned the H400 Certificate will have to return their pin in shame.

Mike




I haven't really encountered this much.




Really?

Just kidding. Thanks. I always appreciate the extensive - and useful - knowledge you bring to threads on CN.

Mike


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MikeBOKC
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5915485 - 06/11/13 05:20 PM

"Resolving" and "seeing" are two different words, at least as I apply them to visual observations. I can "see" some of the spiral arm structure in a number of galaxies as faint, wispy, cloud-like forms, but I don't consider them "resolved" unless I observe actual structure. Same with Mars -- can always see it as a reddish disc when it is up, but resolving to me means observing at least some surface features. Of course one can always ask "how many and in what detail?" to which I would answer that we aren't talking degree here, but kind. Bottom line, I am not keeping score; seeing PLuto is cool; resolving PLuto probably an unattainable goal from the surface of the earth, at least with most equipment. Makes no difference to me . . . but I do think the word "resolve" is precise enough to have its own distinct meaning in observational astronomy.

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Rick Woods
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5915667 - 06/11/13 07:07 PM

I think whoever made the initial post about resolving Pluto with an 8" was just confused, most likely about what I said I had done. We don't really have to go over the distinction between detecting and resolving.

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Sarkikos
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5915778 - 06/11/13 08:14 PM

Quote:

Makes no difference to me . . . but I do think the word "resolve" is precise enough to have its own distinct meaning in observational astronomy.




Yes indeed. And when an observer says that they "see" an object, it should not immediately be assumed that what they meant to say - or should have said - was "resolve."

Mike


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azure1961p
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: blb]
      #5916129 - 06/12/13 12:03 AM

Quote:

Pete,
That's a great story. I thoroughly enjoyed it.




But it really did happen!!!!

Pete


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kfiscus
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5916162 - 06/12/13 12:23 AM

Back to the OP's question- I've never seen it but will be finding it this summer. I'm using the finder charts that are in the current issues of both Sky&Telescope and Astronomy mags.

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Tom and Beth
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5916300 - 06/12/13 03:21 AM

As already mentioned, Pluto may not be as awe inspiring as Saturn, but the challenge of just locating Pluto is what floats my boat. Then try to find it with smaller instruments over several nights. It's also why I like double Stars and Asteroids.

After 40 years, I still get giddy like a kid on this stuff, and all from the backyard!


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Rich (RLTYS)Moderator
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: Tom and Beth]
      #5916476 - 06/12/13 07:56 AM

Remember, the whole idea on observing Pluto is the thrill of the hunt.

Rich (RLTYS)


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azure1961p
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: Rich (RLTYS)]
      #5916652 - 06/12/13 10:21 AM

Yeah but sometimes yuh need a little game on the table to show for it!!!

Pete


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urassner
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5946941 - 06/29/13 05:26 PM

I have never seen it or imaged it, but want to try soon. I will be using skysafari pro (an Ipad and iphone app). This program has served me well and has shown transits of Jupiters moons accurately to the minute (with position and timing of the shadow). You can superimpose FOVs of finders or eyepieces on the star map, which makes it much easier to visually navigate.

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Rick Woods
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: urassner]
      #5947079 - 06/29/13 07:37 PM

I found it easily enough in my SCT on 6/17, using the excellent map in the June S&T. I plan to try again to night. I used the coordinates from the Astronomical Almanac, which took me right to it. I buy that book every year; it's good to get some use out of it from time to time!

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kfiscus
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5965179 - 07/11/13 04:25 AM

Found it. I used glob Palomar 8 to guide me to it, as per the Sky & Telescope article, June 2013, pages 52&53. Nothing to see, but possibly my proudest find.

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blb
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5965335 - 07/11/13 08:57 AM

Way to go Ken! Good job.

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mich_al
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: Rich (RLTYS)]
      #5981839 - 07/20/13 07:01 PM

Quote:

Remember, the whole idea on observing Pluto is the thrill of the hunt.

Rich (RLTYS)





Well, for me so far this year I haven't yet seen it after about half a dozen good attempts. It's mag is right on the edge of what I can expect from my scope. I'll be back at it after the Moon goes away.


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Tyranthrax
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: mich_al]
      #5998363 - 07/30/13 12:47 PM Attachment (15 downloads)

I spent some time checking charts and trying to locate Pluto. Unless I was seeing somethign that wasn't in the chart, the camera is really sensative, I could see a pinpoint of light with averted, I double checked and I am very certain this is it. it was between the two sets of recognizable star patterns. got it centered, cranked the gain to full throttle ultra mega zoomed and had a hard time getting registax to track it, but I found the golden frame I think. COmpaired my results for levels and curves to photos and was surprised the color was pretty dead on. This look right to the rest of you who have seen it?

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Rick Woods
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: Tyranthrax]
      #5998449 - 07/30/13 01:27 PM

If that's it, nice job! It sure doesn't look like the Pluto I saw, though; that was the averted pinpoint you mentioned.

What kind of scope/camera did you use?


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Tyranthrax
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5998483 - 07/30/13 01:43 PM

Thanks rick, I used a celestron 6se, with the orion deep space video imager II, I had to locate th pinpoint of light that was so small and tiny, I've had good luck with centering the objects I look for, then center it in teh camera, crank the gain to max sensativity and leave the electronic shutter wide open. once I get that centered, I put the barlow in, reinsert cam, center, then zoom, Orion said it's zoom is the equivilent of a 5mm eyepiece, so put that in a barlow and let the programs do thier magic after about a min and 1/2 of recording.

Other objects I can see pretty good and know for certain what I am seeing this one I am pretty sure, just took forever consulting charts and making sure I was seeing what I was seeeing.

The color is all from letting the programs do auto adjustments for RGB and auto once. It's been pretty good for results so far in other pics. I am pretty certain this is not a star becuase my other pics of stars I have evr gotten look, more illuminate with definate color. this had weird speckles in it, granted the picture is prolly a few pixles accross I have never had that occur in star photos.


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azure1961p
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: Tyranthrax]
      #5999335 - 07/31/13 12:04 AM

This is a very interesting image - and the first Ive ever seen where the image is blown up to that degree. Its really quite engaging. It'd be neat if the color from the upcoming sat view was spot on with what you've recorded. Its interesting that the stars which are effectively point sources to a Tekescope appear different than Pluto which subtended a greater angle even if it too was unresolved in this sense.

Pete


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Tyranthrax
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5999394 - 07/31/13 01:22 AM

Quote:

This is a very interesting image - and the first Ive ever seen where the image is blown up to that degree. Its really quite engaging. It'd be neat if the color from the upcoming sat view was spot on with what you've recorded. Its interesting that the stars which are effectively point sources to a Tekescope appear different than Pluto which subtended a greater angle even if it too was unresolved in this sense.

Pete




Does that mean its good? I'm not sure what that means honestly.


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David Knisely
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: Tyranthrax]
      #5999458 - 07/31/13 02:49 AM

Quote:

Quote:

This is a very interesting image - and the first Ive ever seen where the image is blown up to that degree. Its really quite engaging. It'd be neat if the color from the upcoming sat view was spot on with what you've recorded. Its interesting that the stars which are effectively point sources to a Tekescope appear different than Pluto which subtended a greater angle even if it too was unresolved in this sense.

Pete




Does that mean its good? I'm not sure what that means honestly.




The image of Pluto you have was probably somewhat out of focus (if it did indeed capture the planet itself and not just some field star in the area). Pluto should appear as a very faint dot of light identical to the stars of similar brightness in the field. Pluto is currently magnitude 14.1 and only about 0.1 arc seconds in angular diameter, so in most scopes (and with exposures long enough to record it), it would not really be resolvable in the way your image seems to show. Clear skies to you.


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azure1961p
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: David Knisely]
      #5999636 - 07/31/13 07:51 AM

A slightly out of focus Pluto would explain the slightly darker center where the silhouette of the secondary just begins to emerge. Interesting color though. It'd be something off that were accurate.

Pete


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Tyranthrax
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5999816 - 07/31/13 10:33 AM Attachment (9 downloads)

The Dot you see is approximatly 9 pixles accross. I just focus the best I can, record it and go through registax. it was faint enough that most fo the frames I selected as the set point wouldn't track the dot. I have really dark skies in the high desert and have more good nights than bad, its been nice and cool this year. I am confussed when people say you can't capture something. I've been told you shouldn't be able to capture certain things I honestly think they don't try or just live in a bad area. On one hand some say you can't capture something, but if you did it would look a certain way but that's how it looks. As a comparison, here is a picture of a star, you will see it is vastly different. ALl my dubs or star pictures have very bright centers, not the 180 degree opposite. I could drop the video to youtube and you could try it and see what you come up with. I just found the best results is sitting with a cup of coffee and picking the bet frames to use as the referance, make notes, and then pick the best of those. I use the worst of the best as my limit.

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JimK
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: blb]
      #6006614 - 08/04/13 09:01 PM

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?



As of last night, add me to the list of those who have seen Pluto with an 8-inch SCT. I used both of the star charts in S&T, Jun'13, p 52-53, and in Astronomy, Jul'13, p 62-63, to locate it. Afterwards I used Stellarium to confirm the background starfield that I had crudely sketched. It was just a faint dot of light, but one that gave me satisfaction. YMMV.

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azure1961p
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: JimK]
      #6008056 - 08/05/13 05:54 PM

Jim Im very glad for you!!! I chickened out of the challenge by seeing it thru someone's 18" dob lol. Kudos for your sleuthing out this elusive point if light - and in a fairly rich part of the sky.

Pete


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blb
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #6008105 - 08/05/13 06:20 PM

Quote:

As of last night, add me to the list of those who have seen Pluto with an 8-inch SCT. I used both of the star charts in S&T, Jun'13, p 52-53, and in Astronomy, Jul'13, p 62-63, to locate it. Afterwards I used Stellarium to confirm the background starfield that I had crudely sketched. It was just a faint dot of light, but one that gave me satisfaction.



Good job there JimK. If it was fun finding Pluto the first time, then you will really enjoy taking that sketch out again and seeing how much it has moved in a day or two. That conformation is much more fun for me than the initial finding of this former planet.


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JimK
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: blb]
      #6008191 - 08/05/13 07:20 PM

Quote:

... If it was fun finding Pluto the first time, then you will really enjoy taking that sketch out again and seeing how much it has moved in a day or two. That conformation is much more fun for me than the initial finding of this former planet.


I would like to, but my area has been in a pattern of daily clouds, wind, and even rain almost each evening since late June. I think I've had two observing nights -- it's a good thing the sun has bunches of sunspots.

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A. Viegas
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: Tyranthrax]
      #6016876 - 08/10/13 12:06 AM

I just spent the last 10 days trying to image Pluto. I discussed my experience in the video astronomy forum here on CN because I was using a mallincam. I used my CPC 1100 and present here,two screen captures that i have annotated to show Pluto's movement across an arc minute or two of star field.

Pluto image

As can be seen Pluto is a very dim 14.1 magnitude and there is no way an amateur telescope can resolve a disc from such a faint object.

Cheers,

Al


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blb
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: A. Viegas]
      #6017184 - 08/10/13 08:43 AM

Quote:

As can be seen Pluto is a very dim 14.1 magnitude and there is no way an amateur telescope can resolve a disc from such a faint object.



It's not because it is dim that it can't be resolved but because it is only one tenth of an arc second in diameter(0.1").


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Robert Cook
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: blb]
      #6018087 - 08/10/13 06:36 PM

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?





Two nights ago on the 8th, for the first time in about 9 years I hunted for Pluto with my 6-inch F5 Newt, which is quite a challenge from my suburban backyard as opposed to a true dark site. Using Cartes du Ciel and the Extended Hipparcos and UCAC4 catalogs as a guide, I was able to fairly quickly find and observe Pluto blinking repeatedly into my averted vision, exactly where it should have been. According to CDC, the nearest objects that I could possibly have seen with this aperture under these conditions were a 9th magnitude star and a 13th magnitude star, and I could see both of those, so the other fainter object that I observed must have been Pluto. The magnification that I used was 112X.

This planet (qualify the term as you will) isn't much to look at from Earth, of course, but the conditions in my area were so good that night that I suddenly developed an urge to give it a try. The seeing was merely acceptable, but the air was so clear and the sky was so dark (relatively speaking) that I could easily see the Milky Way even when somebody in the house flipped on the outside light. Normally I either can't see the Milky Way at all or can barely make it out with averted vision ("orange" to "red" class sky), but on the 8th I could clearly see the structure of our galaxy with direct vision ("green" class sky). By the way, last night the sky was horrible in comparison, so I didn't bother to track Pluto's movement, although I may try tonight if conditions are more favorable.


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Robert Cook
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Re: Looking for Pluto? new [Re: A. Viegas]
      #6018159 - 08/10/13 07:49 PM

Quote:

I just spent the last 10 days trying to image Pluto. I discussed my experience in the video astronomy forum here on CN because I was using a mallincam. I used my CPC 1100 and present here,two screen captures that i have annotated to show Pluto's movement across an arc minute or two of star field.

Pluto image




Nice job! I have a couple of notes, though: 1) the star labeled TYC 6275-331-1 should be TYC 6275-337-1, and 2) the images appear to be mirror-reversed.


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