This Week's Night Sky: Pluto Presents an Observing Challenge
Days before the New Horizon spacecraft visits, the dwarf planet puts on a show for sky-watchers.
Skies appear busy this week with the moon pointing to Uranus and the Bull’s eye and Pluto hitting prime time in both sky and space exploration.
Only eight days before the New Horizons spacecraft reaches the dwarf planet, the super-faint world reaches opposition—meaning it lies opposite the sun in our sky, rising in the east at sunset and setting in the west at sunrise. This allows Pluto be visible all night long.
Pluto is nestled with the southern constellation Sagittarius, which is now visible late nights in the southern horizon for those in the mid-northern latitudes. Check out the Sky and Telescope website for a detailed finder chart.
The distant world remains a difficult observing challenge, however. Lying 4.9 billion kilometers from