Shedding a New Light on the Universe
by J. Allie Hajian
Here is an exercise in scale. The Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) has dimensions of 6 feet x 6 feet x 18 feet. Try these calculations:
1. If you built a model of RXTE that was 1/3 the size of the real thing, what dimensions would it have?
2. What fraction of the size of the real RXTE would a model that was 2" x 2" x 6" be?
3. RXTE's solar panels are each 10.5' x 27.5'. If you wanted to build a model solar panel that was 1/6 the size of a real one, what would its dimensions be?
Try building your own model of RXTE to help you with these calculations!