satellite size

Darwin Teague (
Tue, 21 Oct 1997 06:06:10 -0400

I've been trying to see lunar transits lately and am about to go in search
of solar transits as well.

Rob Matson was kind enough to give me a formula for finding the angular
size of satellites. (L/R) * 206.3 = A. L = length in meters, R = range in
kilometers, A = angular size in arc seconds.

Fiddling with the formula, it looks like a satellite that is approximately
4.85 meters in length will subtend 1 arcsecond at 1000 kilometers.

My problem is, I have NO idea how large satellites are. The most common
thing up there seems to be Cosmos rocket bodies, so they'd be the natural
thing to check into. 

What satellites are larger than about 5 meters? Is anything up there
besides the Mir larger than 9 or 10 meters? I have Skymap set for a maximum
range of 2000 km, but if the sats are too small, I won't see them anyway.
Dishheads, dishheads, Roly poly dishheads!
Computer controlled TVRO -
There's a fine line between a purr and grrr!