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Stargazing Hubble Telescope & Pluto

  1. Jun 24, 2010 #1
    I have a question that I could really use some help mathematically on.

    At its closest to Earth, Pluto is 28.6 AU from Earth. Can the Hubble Space Telescope distringuish any features on Pluto? Justify your answers using calculations.

    Please help!

    I know that the diameter of Pluto is 2274km and the angular resolution is 0.1"
    The small angle formula can be used and it is:
    D= angular size of object in arcsec x distance to object / 206265

    (206265 is required and equal to the number of arcseconds in a complete circle)
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 24, 2010 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to PF.

    With the information you have (distance to pluto and diameter of Pluto), you can calculate the angular diameter of Pluto from earth. That'll give you your answer.
  4. Jun 24, 2010 #3
    thank you im working on it now!
  5. Jun 25, 2010 #4


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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Hi LoveTheStars, welcome to PF!

    Try New Hubble Maps of Pluto Show Surface Changes, but you have to do your own homework calculations.

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