Dwarf Planet (134340) Pluto: a movie (22 July 2015)

Dwarf Planet (134340) Pluto: 22 July 2015

Dwarf Planet (134340) Pluto: 22 July 2015

A few days after the epic fly-by of Pluto by the New Horizons space probe, at Virtual Telescope we managed to capture a couple of images of that small, icy and far world.

Each image comes from a 120-seconds exposure, remotely collected with the PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E robotic unit part of the Virtual Telescope Project. The two images, taken by Gianluca Masi and Pier Luigi Catalano, were separated in time of about 30 minutes.

Once animated, that simple sequence makes Pluto quite evident: it is the only dot of light jumping back and forth, at the very center of the image, as it moved a bit along its orbit in that 30 minutes lapse. There are a few hot pixels jumping, too, but they are easy to recognize.

 Staring at that point of light, it is amazing to realize how much we have learned in the last couple of months and how much more is still waiting for us to understand it. This is the funniest side of science.

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