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public Observing fromLocation: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt
SunriseRise: 6:42  
clear_day Transit: 12:10  
SunsetSet: 17:40
sunny DaytimeWhat's Visible Now?
Dwarf Planets and Asteroids » 

Dwarf Planet Pluto

Altitude: -4.4°   Azimuth: 238.3°   Direction: West-South-West

Pluto is a dwarf planet in the Kuiper Belt, a region of icy objects beyond the orbit of Neptune. It was discovered in 1930 by American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh and was considered the ninth planet in the solar system until it was reclassified as a dwarf planet in 2006. Pluto has a diameter of approximately 2,377 kilometers and a mass of 1.31 x 10^22 kilograms. Pluto has a highly elliptical orbit, with a period of 248 Earth years, and its orbit is tilted relative to the plane of the solar system. Pluto has five known moons, the largest of which is Charon, which is about half the size of Pluto itself. Pluto's surface is covered in nitrogen and methane ices, as well as frozen carbon monoxide and methane. The New Horizons spacecraft, which flew past Pluto in 2015, revealed a complex and diverse world with mountains, valleys, glaciers, and hazy skies. Pluto's atmosphere is thin and composed mainly of nitrogen, with traces of methane and carbon monoxide.

Dwarf Planet Pluto is currently in the constellation of Capricornus, at a distance of 5,341,072,746 kilometers from Earth.

Finder chart of Pluto in Capricornus on March,02 2024
Map showing Dwarf Planet Pluto in Capricornus on March, 02 2024. Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View interactive star map
The current Right Ascension of Dwarf Planet Pluto is 20h 15m 16s and the Declination is -22° 44’ 50” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt). The current magnitude of Dwarf Planet Pluto is 14.53 (JPL).

20h 15m 16s
-22° 44’ 50”
Capricornus
14.53

Today's rise, transit and set times of Dwarf Planet Pluto from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 112.7°
Max altitude: 15.8°
Azimuth: 247.3°
  • Pluto is below the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt.
  • Given its current magnitude, Pluto is visible with the help of a telescope having an aperture of 14 inches (350mm) or more.
  • Go to interactive sky chart

If you need to access this information frequently for your observations, you can create a simple customized Quick Access page, so that you can easily bookmark it in your browser favorites or add a shortcut to your mobile phones' home screen.

Additional Resources

Dwarf Planet Pluto Position and Finder Charts

Finder chart of Pluto
Map showing Dwarf Planet Pluto in Capricornus on March, 02 2024
Field of view: 10x6 degrees
View fullscreen

Higher precision deep sky finder chart, 60 arcmin wide, showing where Dwarf Planet Pluto is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

Pluto
RA: 20h 15m 16s
Dec: -22° 44’ 50”
Deep sky finder chart for Dwarf Planet Pluto
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is Dwarf Planet Pluto?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Dwarf Planet Pluto in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Dwarf Planet Pluto Distance from Earth

The distance of Dwarf Planet Pluto from Earth is currently 5,341,072,746 kilometers, equivalent to 35.702866 Astronomical Units. Light takes 4 hours, 56 minutes and 55.9010 seconds to travel from Dwarf Planet Pluto and arrive to us.

5,341,072,746
35.702866
4 hours, 56 minutes and 55.9010 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Dwarf Planet Pluto from Earth as a function of time. In the chart the distance data is measured in Astronomical Units and sampled with an interval of 1 day.

Chart of the distance of Dwarf Planet Pluto from Earth in Astronomical Units (au)

The value of the reported distance might be somewhat inaccurate around the times of closest approach for objects passing extremely close to Earth. The value of the distance of Pluto from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Closest Approach of Dwarf Planet Pluto to Earth

Between 1 January 1900 and 29 December 2099, the closest approach of Dwarf Planet Pluto to Earth happens on Tue May 8 1990 at a distance of 28.686952 Astronomical Units, or 4,291,506,906 kilometers:

Tue May 8 1990
4,291,506,906
28.686952

NOTE: values for the closest approach are computed with a sampling interval of 1 day.

Dwarf Planet Pluto Brightness and Light Curve

The following chart is the predicted light curve (visual magnitude as a function of time) of Dwarf Planet Pluto, according to the most recent ephemerides data. Magnitude data is sampled with a 2 days interval and there might be inaccuracies for objects changing brightness very rapidly during the course of a few days. For comets there could be large discrepancies between the observed and predicted brightness because of their highly dynamic behaviour.

Chart of the magnitude of Dwarf Planet Pluto as a function of time

Dwarf Planet Pluto Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Dwarf Planet Pluto at epoch 18 July 2016 00:00 UTC (JD: 2457588.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.25183788
Orbit inclination i 17.14771141°
Perihelion distance q 29.61871297 AU
4,430,896,403 km
Aphelion distance Q 49.55854580 AU
7,413,852,941 km
Semi-major axis a 39.58862939 AU
5,922,374,672 km
Orbital period period 249.0944 years
90,981.7165 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 1989-Oct-12 14:15:35
2,447,812.0942 JD
Next perihelion transit 2238-Nov-18 07:27
2,538,793.8106 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 113.70900151586°
Longitude of the ascending node node 110.29238405431°
Mean anomaly M 38.683663473182°
Mean motion n 0.00395684°/day

Dwarf Planet Pluto Physical Data

The following shows the known values of the most important physical parameters of Dwarf Planet Pluto. Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Physical Parameter Value Relative to Earth
Diameter 2302 km 0.1807
Mass 0.01309 x 1024 kg 0.0022
Density 2.05 gr/cm3 0.3718
Escape Velocity 1.23 km/s 0.1099
Sideral Rotation -153.2928 hours -6.4047
Absolute Magnitude -1
Geometric Albedo 0.3

Dwarf Planet Pluto 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Dwarf Planet Pluto computed for the past and next 7 days, with a 24 hours interval. Click on each row of the table to locate Dwarf Planet Pluto in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2024 Feb 24 20h 14m 22s -22° 46’ 32” 14.52 Capricornus
2024 Feb 25 20h 14m 30s -22° 46’ 18” 14.52 Capricornus
2024 Feb 26 20h 14m 38s -22° 46’ 04” 14.52 Capricornus
2024 Feb 27 20h 14m 44s -22° 45’ 50” 14.52 Capricornus
2024 Feb 28 20h 14m 52s -22° 45’ 37” 14.53 Capricornus
2024 Feb 29 20h 14m 58s -22° 45’ 23” 14.53 Capricornus
2024 Mar 01 20h 15m 05s -22° 45’ 10” 14.53 Capricornus
2024 Mar 02 20h 15m 11s -22° 44’ 57” 14.53 Capricornus
2024 Mar 03 20h 15m 19s -22° 44’ 44” 14.53 Capricornus
2024 Mar 04 20h 15m 24s -22° 44’ 32” 14.53 Capricornus
2024 Mar 05 20h 15m 32s -22° 44’ 21” 14.53 Capricornus
2024 Mar 06 20h 15m 38s -22° 44’ 08” 14.53 Capricornus
2024 Mar 07 20h 15m 44s -22° 43’ 58” 14.53 Capricornus
2024 Mar 08 20h 15m 51s -22° 43’ 46” 14.53 Capricornus