How would the stellar parallaxes observed from Pluto compare with those observed from Earth?

1 Answer
Mar 11, 2016

Stellar parallax from Pluto would have a much better resolution.


Stellar parallax on Earth is performed by measuring the position of an object and then measuring it again 6 months later when the Earth is at the opposite side of its orbit. This gives a baseline of 2AU.

There is a limit as to how far away an object can be to use parallax to measure the distance. This is the smallest angle shift which can be measured between the two measurements.

Pluto on the other hand has a baseline of 79AU. So parallax can be used to measure distance 40 time greater than can be measured using Earth's parallax.

The problem with measuring parallax from Pluto is you would have to wait 124 years between measurements as Pluto's orbital period is 248 year.