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Mark Stuart  contacted me to discuss if using the EEVA technique it would be possible to show his friend Pluto, via the Zoom facility. The answer is Yes.

Set up - STF 180 at f6.0, and the ultrastar camera mounted on an iOPTRON MiniTower Pro (v.2).

Clear spell forecast for early hours of the 28th July, evening of July 28th and then again for the evening of July 30th.

Charts prepared. Headed out at 01.00 hrs on the 28th.  Sent scope to Pluto (having set it up,aligned.......). I just could not work out the star field (the disadvantage of the narrow fov of the camera). I double checked charts, re synced the scope twice and each time the scope came back to the same place but it just did not feel right. I also had no idea what would be the best time for the subs or how many to stack. I did not wish to get too many stars and thus loose Pluto in a multitude of stars. In the end I did a series of shots in and around where the scope kept going to each time I sent it to Pluto and gave up after an hour. During the day I poured over the charts and various shots and realised the scope had just been missing Pluto (I suspect internal co-ordinates in the handset are out). However in one of my shots I spotted a faint grey dot that was indeed Pluto. Having  decided that it was better to use apparent co-ordinates for Pluto from Sky Tools 4 and also now familiar with the star field, it was game on for the evening. Mark organised the Zoom bit.

That evening (28th) - I set up early (10.30 pm) and put in the apparent co-ordinates and there was Pluto but not where it was 20 hours earlier. At 11.15.pm Mark and friend came online via Zoom and we sat there musing on just what we were seeing. We all agreed that the dot had to be Pluto - the dot had moved compared to my earlier observation and it fitted exactly where charts said it would be.

A very satisfying outcome.

However I wished to be 100% certain that this dot was indeed Pluto so last night (30th), despite the bright moon I set up the same gear and put in apparent co-ordinates and there was the 'dot' again but of course it had moved.

A 6 second sub was all that was needed to show Pluto and the stacking was simply to reduce the noise.

What a thrill to find Pluto, especially as we now have the amazing close up images from the fly by............

Equally satisfying was enabling someone to 'see' Pluto as live as possible other than a direct view through a large Dob.

Mike

As an after thought. I was able to demonstrate what I was doing re stacking etc via the live screen share facility of Zoom - this idea could be really helpful to someone trying to sort out how to use a piece of software to get an image/view of an object - it really is an online, live tutorial facility..........

478149806_PLUTO_2020.7.28_2.18circlecloseup.png.7790cbe7b69b9458c6283bf63ad1d94e.png1792993274_PLUTO_2020.7.30_22_38.13thirdviewcloseupcircle.png.7deb3522bf24eeb0640cd269edbc5224.png               785243348_PLUTO_2020.7.28_23_10.55circlecloseup.png.7538dda0c15038dd55454c0a386e3204.png

 

2120121744_PLUTOthreepositionscloseup.png.9ba76a492aaacf923f6431df4bfe2c2d.png

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Posted (edited)

Clyde Tombaugh would no doubt have marvelled at today's advances, as compared to his efforts in 1930!

Edited by merlin100

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Thank you for a really interesting read and well done on your perseverance to capture Pluto.

I fear (£££££) I may be starting to develop an interest in EEVA.

Adrian

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Great stuff! Always wanted to have a go... But was put off by current location of Pluto?!?!?

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Thank you to Mike for making this happen. Seeing Pluto like this was a moment my friend and I will never forget.

Mark

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Thanks folk for your enthusiastic comments. I should really do the same with an asteroid or two - watch this space? Mike

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Impressive stuff. Thanks for the sharing the details.

Bill S

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Yes, thanks for the effort and the images. 

Sometimes when I'm observing, I look in the area I know it's supposed to be and think how I would love to see the non-planet! 🤔

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Last night (6/08/20) I thought I would find Pluto again but this time to use the C11/ultrastar. This would be more of a challenge as it would give a smaller fov and more stars compared to the STF 180/ultrastar combination. I could not be sure I had found Pluto last night but on close inspection this morning I was able to locate the fov against star charts and locate Pluto.

The C11/ultrastar could pick up Pluto in just 3 seconds. The attached image is stack of 5 sec subs to reduce the noise. Conditions were far from ideal - unsteady, humid and moonlit.

Mike

1026786888_Pluto_2020.8.6_22_26.45circle.thumb.png.9881951d87e5a46e01e69f82b105bf9e.png

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