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How to photograph Pluto with a camera


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The hard part is finding the right patch of sky, and then finding Pluto among all the stars in the image.

FYI I managed to image Pluto using a ASI224MC camera on a 102mm f5 Startravel and SLT alt-az GoTo mount,  and also used plate-solving and an online star map.  If you do not have GoTo, then good luck.

Edited by Cosmic Geoff
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Be aware that through a 12” scope Pluto will just be a faint star like point so it’s more a case of you have found it rather than seeing any detail.

Here’s a photo of Pluto taken using the Keck twin 10m telescopes.

 

1E202FC7-C41D-490D-A4CD-36DC5F9A8EEB.jpeg

Edited by johninderby
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Pluto is rapidly approaching conjuction and at a declination of -22 deg and a magnitude of just above 15 then later next year, assuming you can guide your dob sufficiently long enought to reach that mag and maintain round stars, I would suggest taking 2 sets of exposures a few days apart so you can spot Pluto's movement against the background stars (as it is currently in a fairly star rich area of the Milky Way within Sagittarius).

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As Cosmic Geoff says, the tricky bit is finding the right field, especially since Pluto is passing through a star-rich portion of the sky. Here's an animation of 3 shots on sucessive days from 2015: 

PlutoAnimation.gif.77cfb8c13bf6d12e04297bb38256d93a.gif

These were 4 x 15s subs but Pluto is actually quite bright and easy to catch with short exposures (it is detectable in 1s exposures with an 8" f4 scope), so if you were to happen upon the right part of the sky you could take a brief exposure and expect to see it, but only after a lot of searching! 

Good luck

Martin

Edited by Martin Meredith
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