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Posted by Bob Sal on July 14, 2003 18:28:35 UTC

Pluto is usually over 13th magnitude. Right now it's 13.8. That's pretty dim but seeable in a 8". The trick is to look at the same spot several nights in a row. It may even take more than that, several weeks to spot it. You have to sketch the stars it the area. Over a period of time you'll notice one is moving. Pluto does not move that far that fast so it's not so easy to pick out. It's size is only .1" so it's not gonna look like a disk. It will look like a dim star. You should try to pick out a 13th magnitude star to, just to get an idea how dim an object your looking for. I have a 12"LX200 which I have pointed at Pluto many times. Still haven't picked it out of the field. I don't really have time to sketch it and all. The clear nights here in NJ are so far between, I have better things to do when I get a chance to set up the scope. I tell you though, it's a fun project. I've done it with asteriods. They move faster and are generally brighter so they are easier to spot. I followed Neptune and Uranus for months with my binoculars. They are fun, you can find them easy. Good luck.
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