Shedding a New Light on the Universe

Satellite Activity

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!

RXTE Model



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