134340 Pluto

134340 Pluto

Postby stephen-jones » Mon Feb 09, 2015 1:19 pm

Share your Pluto observing experience here. My first viewing of Pluto was this October with the 12.5" F7 in the observatory. It certainly wasn't much to look at, being a tiny faint point of light near the limit of visibility, indistinguishable from the faint stars around it. The satisfaction for me was simply the knowledge of what I was looking at, the only Kuiper Belt object visible to amateur telescopes; a tiny world smaller than our moon billions of miles away. How did you feel when you saw Pluto for the first time?

Also, if by chance I have lit you on fire by putting this topic in the "Minor Planets" forum, by all means, air your grievance here; it will at least make for a lively discussion :P
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Re: 134340 Pluto

Postby steve-fung » Mon Feb 09, 2015 1:57 pm

Definitely on my list of things to look at. I tried once (or maybe twice) with my GoTo mount, but I really need a bigger scope and probably views over extended time to look for motion relative to background stars (unless there's someone to point out to me - there it is). Related, I have yet to see any of the minor planets through a telescope. I'll be glad if one our local HAS experts can show me one of these days.


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Re: 134340 Pluto

Postby steve-pinney » Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:53 pm

Pluto is still number nine and always will be, everything else after it can be categorized a dwarf planet.
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Re: 134340 Pluto

Postby stephen-jones » Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:15 pm

Steve P, help me understand your justification for that. All evidence seems to point to the KBO's being similar to Pluto. Logically, either Pluto isn't a planet or all of them are. Personally, I don't see anything wrong with Pluto still being considered a planet, but if we do so it seems irresponsible that we should not also consider Eris, Haumea, Quaoar, et al, as planets also
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Re: 134340 Pluto

Postby steve-pinney » Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:20 pm

Stephen, I can't. Its a heart thing w/me, nothing scientific, nothing based on logic. To me it's what defines our solar system, our night sky. Most of us grew up reading about the search for the outer planets and w/Pluto it was an epic story spanning more then a decade from the time Lowell theorized a 9th planet affecting the orbit of Uranus and Neptune and Tombaugh discovering it. It was our 9th planet for 70 some odd years, longer then I have been alive. I know, all sentimental poop, but its what I grew up with.
Sorry but its the best I can come up with.

Would be very interested in others thoughts on this.
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Re: 134340 Pluto

Postby chris-ober » Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:09 am

Pluto isn't much to look at in anything until New Horizons gets there.
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Re: 134340 Pluto

Postby stephen-jones » Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:59 am

chris-ober wrote:Pluto isn't much to look at in anything until New Horizons gets there.

I am very much looking forward to the New Horizons images. Still, regardless of it not being much to look at, looking at it with your own eyes still invokes a little something extra in the imagination. Otherwise, why would any of us look at anything when we can see the Hubble pics on the internet?
steve-pinney wrote:Stephen, I can't. Its a heart thing w/me, nothing scientific, nothing based on logic. To me it's what defines our solar system, our night sky. Most of us grew up reading about the search for the outer planets and w/Pluto it was an epic story spanning more then a decade from the time Lowell theorized a 9th planet affecting the orbit of Uranus and Neptune and Tombaugh discovering it. It was our 9th planet for 70 some odd years, longer then I have been alive. I know, all sentimental poop, but its what I grew up with.
Sorry but its the best I can come up with.

Would be very interested in others thoughts on this.

I grew up with it too, Steve, but it's still bad science. Besides, how is any of that history diminished by Pluto being reclassified? All that stuff still happened, Pluto is still there, and it IS unique among the Kuiper Belt objects in that it is observable in amateur telescopes. Why does Pluto have to be a planet in order to occupy the same place in our hearts? I don't see why it does.
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Re: 134340 Pluto

Postby stephen-harris » Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:10 pm

I got my undergrad in physics in Flagstaff. Spent some time at Lowell observ as a student. Here's a bit of Pluto history for you.
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Re: 134340 Pluto

Postby stephen-harris » Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:11 pm

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