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Pluto in 2009

Finder chart for Pluto during 2009.    Chart showing path of Pluto in 2009.    Positions of Pluto in 2009.

Pluto in Sagittarius during 2009

In 2009, Pluto's apparent path will be just inside Sagittarius close to its border with Serpens. Being some way south of the celestial equator it will be well placed for viewing from the southern hemisphere. However, Pluto will be remain in a lobe of the Milky Way with numerous background stars having a similar magnitude to the planet. This is likely to make its detection more difficult.

Having been at conjunction with the Sun on 2008 December 22, Pluto will start the year in the morning sky, but it will be too close to the Sun for observation until the end of January. By the beginning of February it will rise almost 3 hours before the Sun, so becoming observable in the morning sky.

Opposition is on June 23 when Pluto will have a magnitude 14.1. As a result it is likely to need a telescope aperture of at least 25 cm to see. Keen eyed observers viewing under good conditions from a dark site may be able to spot the planet with a smaller telescope. With opposition in June, evening viewing will be best from late May to the end of September. In 2009 Pluto is in conjunction with the Sun on December 25 (NZDT). so will not be observable from early November.

Finder chart for Pluto in 2009.

The view is for the southern hemisphere with south at the top and east to the right.
The circle shows a field with a five degree diameter. Stars to magnitude 9.0 are shown, those to magnitude 7.5 are labelled.

Finder chart for Pluto in 2009.


Detailed path of Pluto in Sagittarius during 2009.

The view is for the southern hemisphere with south at the top and east to the right.
The circle shows a field half a degree in diameter.
Stars to magnitude 12.0 are shown, those brighter than magnitude 9 are labelled without a decimal point.

Path of Pluto in 2009.


Charts generated with the assistance of GUIDE 8.0 produced by Project Pluto.

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Positions of Pluto during 2009

Date
2009
R.A
hr min
Dec
 °  '
 Mag   Const
Jan 1 18 04.8 -17 45 14.2 Sgr
Jan 31 18 09.0 -17 44 14.2 Sgr
Mar 2 18 12.0 -17 42 14.2 Sgr
Apr 1 18 13.2 -17 39 14.2 Sgr
May 1 18 12.4 -17 38 14.1 Sgr
May 31 18 10.1 -17 38 14.1 Sgr
Jun 30 18 06.9 -17 41 14.1 Sgr
Jul 30 18 04.0 -17 46 14.1 Sgr
Aug 29 18 02.4 -17 54 14.1 Sgr
Sep 28 18 02.5 -18 02 14.2 Sgr
Oct 28 18 04.5 -18 10 14.2 Sgr
Nov 27 18 08.2 -18 15 14.3 Sgr
Dec 27 18 12.6 -18 18 14.3 Sgr
2010 Jan 26 18 17.0 -18 18 14.3 Sgr


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