What really happened?

The planned pictures of Pluto were taken pretty much as they were setup in the final plan. Two pictures of Pluto were taken by the Faint Object Camera (FOC). Here's some information about the pictures.

Image ID     Filter  UT Date/Time at start    Exposure
X34U0101T    F410M    1996 Mar 04 07:07:02     896 sec
X34U0102T    F278M    1996 Mar 04 07:29:16     896 sec
The first column is the identification number automatically assigned by the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) to uniquely refer to each image taken by HST.

The second column is the filter used. F410M means a medium (M) width filter centered at 410 nano-meters (or 4100 Angstroms) wavelength. F410M corresponds to what we'd see as blue light. F278M is a filter at 278nm (2780 Angstroms) and is in ultra-violet light which is invisible to our eyes. In fact, this wavelength never even makes it through our own atmosphere. The only way to take a picture like this one is to do it from space.

The third column is the Universal Time (UT) at which the camera shutter was first opened. The last column is how long the shutter was held open to collect the picture. These two pictures each took almost 15 minutes to collect.

Back to my home page, Pluto page, LFHST page, Analysis Table of Contents.

Marc W. Buie, Southwest Research Institute