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.
|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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