Stargazer Spots Pluto Amid Sagittarius Stars (Photo)

Pluto and Sagittarius Stars by Chumack
Astrophotographer John Chumack captured this image from a farm in Dexter, Iowa on June 29, 2014. (Image credit: John Chumack | )

This stunning image captures the dwarf planet Pluto among the star fields of Sagittarius.

Astrophotographer John Chumack captured this image from a farm in Dexter, Iowa on June 29. Chumack captured a grouping of stars he calls the Sagittarius 'spoon.'

"Most astronomers are familiar with the Great Tea Pot of Sagittarius, just above the Teapot's Handle is the Sagittarius spoon," Chumack wrote in an email to

In the image, Pluto is a distant dot near the cup of the 'spoon.' The constellation Sagittarius, also know as the archer centaur, is the largest constellation in the Southern Hemisphere and the 15th largest constellation overall. Eight of the brightest stars in Sagittarius form an asterism called "the teapot," which appears low on the southern horizon. An asterism is an obvious grouping of stars, too big to be a star cluster and too small to be a constellation.

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Chumack used a modified Canon 40D DSLR & 50mm lens @F5.6, ISO 1600 for a Single 4 minute exposure while tracking on a CG-4 Mount.

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Contributing Writer and Producer

Nina Sen is a freelance writer and producer who covered night sky photography and astronomy for She began writing and producing content for in 2011 with a focus on story and image production, as well as amazing space photos captured by NASA telescopes and other missions. Her work also includes coverage of amazing images by astrophotographers that showcase the night sky's beauty.