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Pluto, 9-24

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#1 rehling

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Posted 24 September 2021 - 10:53 AM

There are really two things you can image WRT Pluto: Its motion and its color. Last night, I dug in deeper on the color than I have before, imaging for 7.5 minutes each in RGB, and came away with this image. C9.25", ASI1600mm, using cooling. 150 frames in each color, 3s exposures. It's the object at center, about third brightest of the objects in the image.

Pluto 20210924 RGB.png


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#2 Aquat0ne

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Posted 24 September 2021 - 11:40 AM

Great work.
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#3 matt_astro_tx

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Posted 24 September 2021 - 12:13 PM

Fantastic!  Is that Charon to it's upper left?



#4 rehling

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Posted 24 September 2021 - 12:30 PM

Thanks! No, Matt, it's a temping thought to strive for Charon, but it is likely impossible without bigger gear, so that's certainly just an interloping star.

 

With these long exposures, the techniques we use to achieve high resolution with other planets aren't likely to work. This image was taken with no Barlow, no lucky imaging, no wavelets to sharpen.

 

If Pluto weren't around, we could image Charon standalone, but as is, this image is certainly a mixture of Pluto light (mainly) with a bit of Charon light mixed in.


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#5 rehling

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 04:32 AM

I didn't get the same quality of conditions again, but 48 hours later, I was able to get a passable image, and use the pair of them to make this blink gif, with a nod to Clyde Tombaugh.

Pluto 202109 24-26.gif


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#6 matt_astro_tx

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 07:15 AM

Nice work!  I had wondered if you were going to blink it.



#7 rehling

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 10:47 AM

Thanks! The weather was not on my side, and puffs of fog were blowing across my north while I imaged Pluto to my south, making me a little antsy that I'd lose it before I finished the session. The lower quality in the second image results from my intense light pollution interacting with poorer transparency on 9-26 than 9-24. Not a problem with Jupiter or Saturn, but with Pluto, that hurts. The signal to noise ratio was a lot worse as a result.



#8 EEBA

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 07:21 AM

I spent days to finally capture Neptune it was 20 times harder than Uranus. I can’t imagine how much harder to find and image Pluto.I have 8 inch scts

#9 rehling

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Posted 16 October 2021 - 12:59 AM

I only find Pluto by locating nearby reference objects, ascertaining that Pluto is definitely there, and then taking a follow-up image once I have done that. I have never seen Pluto onscreen while imaging, but when I know for sure that it's in-frame, it's easy to take a long exposure that is sure to bring it out clearly.

 

Neptune, on the other hand, I easily see through the eyepiece and very, very easily onscreen.

 

But getting a good Neptune image is certainly significantly harder than a good Uranus image. Since I have a camera with cooling, I make a point of using cooling for Neptune imaging; cutting the noise helps. Short exposures with Neptune may make it hard to align frames if background noise is significant and tracking isn't really accurate.


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