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Mike Wifado
Why can't the Hubble telescope take clear pictures of the planet Pluto? View All
Is it because its far away?

11 years ago - 8 months left to answer. - 1 response - Report Abuse
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John Blawish
Pluto is very small, possibly half the size of our Moon, and 3.7 Billion Miles from the Sun. It only has the light from the Sun to illuminate its surface. Since it is a planet, it has no light of its own. The light that we (or the Hubble Telescope sees) see is reflected from the uneven surface of the planet, and is therefore scattered light and not as bright as it might be were the surface smoother (as in having oceans and seas). So, all views of Pluto have to be made using light which has traveled 3.7 Billion Miles, reflected off of a rocky, irregular surface, and returned 3.7 Billion more Miles. If you add to that situation the fact that Pluto is traveling through space at a high rate of speed, you present a camera with one real challenge to get any picture at all. Normally a long exposure is required, and that is hard to accomplish with a fast mover.

11 years ago

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