AUG 06, 2019 5:11 PM PDT

Here's Why Hubble Can't Photograph Pluto Clearly

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope is responsible for capturing some of the most detailed images of distant galaxies, but it isn’t particularly useful when it comes to photographing closer objects like Pluto and other trans-Neptunian objects in our solar system.

As it would seem, this has to do with the angular diameter of the object in question. The size and distance of the said object are incredibly significant factors in determining Hubble’s ability to view it clearly. Pluto is much closer than any galaxy, but it’s also insignificantly tiny, which makes it tougher to focus on. Galaxies, although much farther away, are massive.

One of the best photographs ever taken of the Andromeda galaxy was resolved with the Hubble Space Telescope, and it’s comprised of several smaller photographs because the galaxy is so large that the whole thing wouldn’t fit in Hubble’s viewfinder.

The next time you wonder why Hubble can’t photograph Pluto as clearly as it can galaxies, or even larger planets, remember that it has to do with Pluto’s size and distance relative to our location in the Solar System.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
MAY 04, 2020
Space & Astronomy
The Science Behind Brown Dwarfs
MAY 04, 2020
The Science Behind Brown Dwarfs
Outer space is chock-full of stars and planets orbiting them, but there’s a fine line between what makes a star a ...
JUN 09, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Why SpaceX's Droneship Footage Often Cuts Out During Landings
JUN 09, 2020
Why SpaceX's Droneship Footage Often Cuts Out During Landings
SpaceX has nearly mastered the art of landing the first stages of the plethora of rockets its sends into space so that t ...
JUL 05, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Astronomers Spot Exposed Planetary Core for First Time
JUL 05, 2020
Astronomers Spot Exposed Planetary Core for First Time
For the first time, astronomers have spotted a planet with an exposed core. Known as TOI-849b, the finding could help us ...
AUG 04, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Scientists Develop Interstellar Sunscreen to Block Deadly Rays
AUG 04, 2020
Scientists Develop Interstellar Sunscreen to Block Deadly Rays
Outside of the Earth's magnetic field exist many kinds of dangerous radiation. These include ultraviolet, X-rays, an ...
AUG 16, 2020
Space & Astronomy
A Very Distant Galaxy From the Early Universe Is a Lot Like the Milky Way
AUG 16, 2020
A Very Distant Galaxy From the Early Universe Is a Lot Like the Milky Way
With the power of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), astronomers have identified a very young gala ...
SEP 24, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Turning Pulsars into Deep Space Beacons
SEP 24, 2020
Turning Pulsars into Deep Space Beacons
Navigating beyond Earth's orbit is tricky. Any misstep in movement could lead to the crushes of space probes and ves ...
Loading Comments...