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Hubble Image of Tycho Crater On The Moon:
So what about Pluto?
Pluto's Angular Diameter when it's closest to Earth is only 0.115 arcseconds. That's small. VERY small! With a diameter of only 2368 kilometers and the closest it gets to Earth being 2.66 BILLION miles, that's very small, and very far away. So it's no wonder its largest angular diameter is only 0.115 arcseconds.
So....what's the biggest thing Hubble can see on Pluto?
2368 km / 0.115 arcseconds = 20594 km. That's how big 1 arc second is looking at the distance of Pluto and its size. So:
20594 km x 0.05 arcseconds = 1029.56 km. That's almost half the size of the planet itself!
So, as you can see, even as powerful as Hubble is with its Angular Resolution, Pluto is just too small and at such a great distance for Hubble to make out anything of real detail.
Hubble Image Of Pluto:
So why can Hubble give us such detailed images of say, the Andromeda Galaxy? It's around 2.5 million light-years away!
Hubble Image Of Andromeda:
Yes, it is that far away. But it's big. Very big! It's 220,000 light-years wide! As a matter of fact, its angular diameter in our sky is 3 degrees! It's actually 1.5 times bigger in our sky than the full moon!
... a full moon covers about 1/2 a degree of our sky...
originally posted by: MasterKaman
Eric may I ask you. Why don't they design a space telescope specifically for looking at the surface s of Moon and Mars ?