Pluto at 2019 Opposition

   Monday July 15th the Dwarf Planet Pluto will be at opposition. All outer planets and other solar system objects that orbit the Sun beyond the orbit of the Earth have opposition. At that orbital position the Earth is between the Sun and the outer solar system object, much like the Sun-Earth-Moon arrangement for a full Moon. At opposition the outer solar system object rises at the local time for sunset and sets at the local time for sunrise – again just like the full Moon.

   Where is Pluto and is Pluto visible to the naked eye? Pluto currently is a few degrees east from the handle of the teapot-shaped asterism for Sagittarius the Archer, and a few degrees east from Saturn. Pluto is visible, but with an apparent magnitude of 14.8 Pluto would only be visible with large aperture telescopes and with time-exposure pictures.

On July 14th 2015 the New Horizons spacecraft flew past the dwarf planet Pluto. Click here to learn more about the New Horizons mission and take part in the mission with some of the interactives created by NASA.


Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.

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