Pluto en Pluto <!-- google_ad_section_start --><p>Pluto reaches somewhere between magnitude 13.8 and 14.1 at opposition making it a rather challenging object to see from washed-out skies. But Pluto&rsquo;s tiny size helps us pull it out of the light pollution: because it is star-like, we can use high magnification to improve the contrast. Even from my light polluted front yard, I&rsquo;ve seen stars of this magnitude with my 10 inch Dob using moderate to high magnification (150x to 250x). So in theory, Pluto is within reach.</p> <p>Unfortunately, Pluto is currently located in Sagittarius. This is not good. That puts Pluto low on the horizon (and I have a particularly cluttered southern horizon). It also brings Pluto into view during the hazy months of summer, when transparency in the Washington DC area is consistently poor. Even worse, it puts Pluto right in the middle of the Milky Way, with lots of other stars of similar brightness. if you think finding a needle in a haystack is hard, try hunting for a particular 14th magnitude star in the middle of the Milky Way....</p> <!-- google_ad_section_end --><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Pluto Sun, 05 Jul 2009 15:00:16 +0000 Washed-out Astronomer 5 at