How to view Pluto at opposition this week
Prior to New Horizons’ flyby of Pluto in 2015, the best images of the dwarf planet (left) and its moon Charon (right) were taken by the Hubble Space Telescope — and they resolved little more than blurry bright and dark patches. Fortunately, New Horizons brought these features into crisp view.
On July 14, 2015, the New Horizons probe swept within 7,700 miles (12,400 kilometers) of Pluto’s surface. With the flyby, features that the Hubble Space Telescope previously saw as fuzzy spots suddenly resolved into broad canyons, flowing ice, expansive craters, mountains of frozen water, and a giant glacier only 10 million years old. The spacecraft proved that Pluto is still a geologically active world, but it also provided a list of questions that will take scientists decades to answer.
Still, researchers aren’t the only ones entranced by the wondrous world of Pluto — amateur astronomers across the globe are eager...