Notes from Under Sky

Pluto Throughout Our Nights

An animated GIF of Pluto's movement through the skies

The above is an animated GIF following Pluto's movement through the starfield near zeta Ophiuchi (the bright round star at upper right) between October 1999 and December 2000. It's a non-trivial task to find Pluto even with the movement—the tiny planet is shown at 10-day intervals—as it averages about magnitude 14 during the animation. The planet moves east twice and west (retrograde) once during the time period covered in this animation, and halfway through the eastward movements, the planet is really lost in the glare of the sun (not seen here).

The field of view is 4 degrees wide. North is up and east is left, to match the view in binoculars.

Copyright (c) 1999 Brian Tung