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(a) The planet Pluto and its Moon Charon are separated by 19,600 km. Neglecting atmospheric effects, should the 5.08-m-diameter Mount Palomar telescope be able to resolve these bodies when they are $4.50 \times 10^{9} \textrm{ km}$ from Earth? Assume an average wavelength of 550 nm. (b) In actuality, it is just barely possible to discern that Pluto and Charon are separate bodies using an Earth-based telescope. What are the reasons for this?
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Final Answer
  1. $\theta > \theta_{min}$. Therefore, yes, the Mount Palomar telescope will be able to observe Pluto's moon Charon.
  2. Aberrations by the atmosphere are significant.
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OpenStax College Physics Solution, Chapter 27, Problem 65 (Problems & Exercises) (1:52)

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