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Paul Floyd asked: Is it possible using binoculars to seeing the station as an very slightly elongated shape? The binoculars are labeled 'Gerber Sport', 10 by 50 with 288 ft at 1000 yds. +++++++++++++ Hi Paul, One of the "satellite lessons" that I developed recently touches on this exact question. The lesson has the kids place an image of the ISS at a distance that puts it into a true perspective so that they can look at it through binoculars and through a telescope to see what they can expect to see under "perfect" circumstances. Now I hope my math is correct here. :~) The angular size of the ISS at a particular distance should be a simple matter of working with ratios. E.g., if you have an image of the ISS to look at that is 100 times smaller than real life, to view it the way it would be seen in a real life situation, place it 100 times closer than what it was at the time you saw it. This assumes (1) that you know the distance that the was at the time of observation and (2) you have a picture that matches its orientation. I use a good image of it and use its average distance above sea level as a start. What I have the students do is this: Print a picture of the ISS, like this one: http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q262/IowaTom/ISSforlessonposterboard.jpg I made then measure the mms across one of the main 70 m solar arrays. From this they determine the scale of the image and multiply that times the distance to the station. I use the average distance, which, as I recall is 342 km. That gives the distance in km to place that printed picture to see it in the proper perspective. I convert the km viewing distance to meters then measure it out. Place the ISS picture on a stick or wall and move away the distance calculated then take a look with your binoculars. You will find that the ISS picture better be on the order of 3 cm across or less. Otherwise you will be measuring a very long distance! And yes, using this technique and a 7X binoculars [on a tripod] one can just make out the shape of the ISS. I suppose that glints would be even easier to make out than the B&W paper image is. This is a hypothetical situation and may lead to some misconceptions. But it's a good start. Tom Iowa USA ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Subscribe/Unsubscribe info, Frequently Asked Questions, SeeSat-L archive: http://www.satobs.org/seesat/seesatindex.html

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