K3's Astronomy - Pluto
"When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which You have set in place, what is Man that You are mindful of him?" -- Psalm 8:3,4

Pluto - The Basic Facts
Pluto is the farthest planet from the Sun (usually) and also the smallest. It is even smaller than Earth's Moon.

Movement of the Pluto during 3 days.
Animation was created from the below images.
Mean Distance from the Sun 39.5 AU
Light time 4h 5m 39.9s
Sidereal period of orbit 248.5 years
Mean orbital velocity 4.74 km/sec
Inclination to ecliptic 17.15
Body rotation period 6d 9h 17m 34s (retrograde)
Diameter 2274 km
Mass 0.25% Earth's mass
Albedo 0.3

Be sure to adjust proper brightness and contrast of monitor to see all details.


Pluto photos with CCD web camera:


Place mouse pointer above the photo to see the labels.
Click the image to see the full size picture (1.57"/pixel).
Pluto. 17.06.2002 (22:40 - 22:50 UT)
Resolution: 3.14 arcsec/pixel
Camera: Vesta 675SC2 + 0.6FR
Telescope: 8" F6 Orion Europa Newtonian
Result focal ratio: F3.6
Exposure: mosaic of 2 pictures
16x15s and 30x15s (gain 100%),
AMP OFF, 16xDF, FF
Seeing: lim.magnitude for naked eye 4.5
Temperature: 16C

1, Stacked with K3CCDTools, exported to FITS
2, Flatten Background + Histogram (MaximDL Demo)
3, Mosaic composed in Corel PhotoPaint

The actual distance of Pluto from Earth is 29.54 AU (4419 million km), magnitude 13.8, angular diameter 0.14".


Click the image to see the full size picture.
The photo of the area from Digitized Sky Survey. Without Pluto, of course.
Here it is animated transition between DSS photo and my photo.

Click the image to see the full size picture (1.57"/pixel).
Pluto. 18.06.2002 (22:15 - 22:28 UT)
Resolution: 3.14 arcsec/pixel
Camera: Vesta 675SC2 + 0.6FR
Telescope: 8" F6 Orion Europa Newtonian
Result focal ratio: F3.6
Exposure: 35x15s (gain 100%), AMP OFF, 16xDF, FF
Seeing: lim.magnitude for naked eye 4.2
Temperature: 17C

1, Stacked with K3CCDTools, exported to FITS
2, Flatten Background + Histogram (MaximDL Demo)


Click the image to see the full size picture (1.57"/pixel).
Pluto. 19.06.2002 (22:02 - 22:15 UT)
Resolution: 3.14 arcsec/pixel
Camera: Vesta 675SC2 + 0.6FR
Telescope: 8" F6 Orion Europa Newtonian
Result focal ratio: F3.6
Exposure: 33x15s (gain 100%), AMP OFF, 16xDF, FF
Seeing: lim.magnitude for naked eye 4.5
Temperature: 18C

1, Stacked with K3CCDTools, exported to FITS
2, Flatten Background + Histogram (MaximDL Demo)

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Last Update: 23.06.2002