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New Horizons: Pluto has been revealed! =)

Legendary Sidekick

The HAM'ster
Oh, yeah… there are good pics of Charon alright! I was at the Boston Museum of Science, and the Planetarium had a 45 minute session, 30 devoted to Pluto, and the last 15 or so showed photos from New Horizons.

I was blown away just seeing what they did to get New Horizons to Pluto in 9 years. A direct route would have taken 12, but they used Jupiter's momentum to speed up the trip. Jupiter's over a billion miles away and Pluto's 3 billion. The precision these scientists are working with…! I mean, you really can't mess up that countdown or you just shot extremely expensive equipment into space for nothing.

Both Pluto and Charon are active worlds. Charon has a craterless section (proving that the surface is changing), and Pluto has no craters. There's a mountainous section, plains with these odd dark bumps—no one knows what they are. Charon has a canyon deep as the Grand Canyon but covering a larger area (by 3 or 4 times, I think). I remember some moons being tiny, like one egg-shaped moon was 30 miles at its largest diameter; its smallest diameter only 19 miles. Another may have had a diameter of 16 miles.

We voted whether or not Pluto is a planet. It was close, but my vote in favor put me on the losing side. (It's okay, Massachusetts; I'm used to it.) But now my reason is more informed. I always thought of a planet as a celestial body that orbits the sun. I can see how this definition doesn't work—or ALL of the asteroids would be planets too. If Pluto counts, we have hundreds of dwarf planets in the Kupier belt that would also count. But they are called "dwarf planets."

Anyway, no matter Pluto's classification, it was cool to see its pictures only a few days after NASA got to see them, and the added bonus was seeing them on a screen larger than a movie theater screen!

Legendary Sidekick

The HAM'ster
Oh… one more insight I gained today regarding a Pluto-related question posted on page one:

Is [Mickey Mouse] a deranged sociopath?

The latest Mickey-Pluto cartoon is all the evidence you need.

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Queen of Titania
Hello everyone!

Russ, thank you for your kind words. I agree with you that the best telescope is the one that we enjoy the most, so I won't listen to the people that hate and despise small telescopes like mine. I have been observing the Moon these past few nights, it's in the growing phases at the moment and I can see every tiny crater that it has.

Hey, the Celestron Edge HD 9.25 is a hell of a telescope!

What does the Moon look like through such a fine instrument? Have you observed Mars, the stripes and moons of Jupiter and beyond? When I point my telescope at Venus (at least, I think that's Venus) all I see is a very bright dot of light, nothing spectacular really.

I did not know that about Galileo.

I accept that probably Galileo did not discover Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto by himself, but definitely somebody did observe them all those years ago by means of a telescope similar to mine. What makes the observations so difficult for me are the freaking high levels of light pollution where I live, so high that I can barely see any stars.

Apart from my telescope I also have Celestron 10x50 binoculars (UpClose G2) and thanks to them I can observe a few constellations, but nothing more than that.


With various lenses and filters the moon looks amazing and on a cool night the crisp detail is amazing. I have no trouble making out the spot on Jupiter, and the rings of Saturn. I can get a good quality Venus as well. Mars is an easy target and at certain times the moons of Jupiter look quite good as well. I live North of Toronto, not too much light pollution and very nice crisp fall nights for observing.

I have a set of binos with the same specs as well. I like them on a clear night when I don't have much time. They are good for the moon, you can split some double stars nicely with them, and I find they can help me detect colour on various stars as well.