Seeing Moon Base Through a Ground Telescope?

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wubblie

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If a small station was set up on the moon, lets say approximately the size of the ISS (about a football field in size) with solar panels, would we be able to see it with telescopes. I tried to plug the numbers into a resolution equation I found in a textbook, but I'm having trouble (I don't think it is the right equation to use). If someone can figure it out, how big would the telescope have to be?
 
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qso1

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<p>This question has been asked about seeing lunar modules which are clearly too small to be resolved in any meaningful detail, if they can even be seen at all. But for an ISS sized object or objects? Good question. </p><p>I don't know the exact numbers but current telescopes, including Hubble, I think would be hard pressed to image an ISS sized object in detail. But they might be able to resolve it enough to tell its of human construction. Some time ago (2002 maybe). Astronomers said they would attempt to image Apollo lunar artifacts with the huge ESO array at the Paranal Observatory in Chile. I haven't heard if they ever succeeded with that effort.<br /> </p><p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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wubblie

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I assume that they would need a pretty large solar array, which would contrast well with the moon's surface. I think it would be great to be able to go to Palomar observatory (near where I live) and be able to take a look at the moon station. But it sounds like it would be better to schedule my trip to the Grand Canary Telescope for 2025- the station better be ready by then!<br />
 
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aphh

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<p>You could resolve some detail of ISS orbiting at about 400 kilometers altitude with standard 10 x 50 binoculars with aspect ratio of... well, the number in degrees escapes me for now.</p><p>But on the moon the ISS would be one thousand times farther away. So to see the ISS in the same detail on the moon it would have to be 1000 times larger.</p><p>This should give you an idea of the distances and resolution to resolve something like ISS on the moon. You'd need a telescope one thousand times more powerful than binoculars (10 000 x 50 000).</p><p>The main lens would be 50 meters in diameter. Now you can see why Hubble can't image Apollo moon bases on the moon. The main lens is only over 3 meters in diameter (10 ft). </p>
 
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wubblie

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That's in agreement with the result I got from my resolution equation, so I guess my result was correct after all. When I look at the moon with my backyard telescope, it looks like I can see a lot of detail, so it's hard to think that there could be a moon base there and it would be too small to see. It makes you realize how small people are even on the tiny scale of the moon-earth system. We are basically microscopic bacteria.&nbsp;
 
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Boris_Badenov

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>You could resolve some detail of ISS orbiting at about 400 kilometers altitude with standard 10 x 50 binoculars with aspect ratio of... well, the number in degrees escapes me for now.But on the moon the ISS would be one thousand times farther away. So to see the ISS in the same detail on the moon it would have to be 1000 times larger.This should give you an idea of the distances and resolution to resolve something like ISS on the moon. You'd need a telescope one thousand times more powerful than binoculars (10 000 x 50 000).The main lens would be 50 meters in diameter. Now you can see why Hubble can't image Apollo moon bases on the moon. The main lens is only over 3 meters in diameter (10 ft). <br />Posted by aphh</DIV></p><p><font size="2">You beat me to it. We figured out how big the aperture needed to be for a telescope to image the Apollo hardware on the Moon&nbsp;& the surface of that&nbsp;near Earth sized planet they found about a year ago.&nbsp;</font></p><p><font size="2">For Lunar images, your right, it needs to be in the range of 100 meters. For interstellar distances of around 25 light years&nbsp;it needs to be in the 160 kilometer range.</font></p><p><font size="2">100 meters is not unreasonable for an interferometer right here on good old planet Earth, but the big one would be much better suited for the far side of the Moon.</font></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>
 
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crazyeddie

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>If a small station was set up on the moon, lets say approximately the size of the ISS (about a football field in size) with solar panels, would we be able to see it with telescopes. I tried to plug the numbers into a resolution equation I found in a textbook, but I'm having trouble (I don't think it is the right equation to use). If someone can figure it out, how big would the telescope have to be? <br /> Posted by wubblie</DIV></p><p>Don't forget, bulky items on the moon that cast shadows at lunar sunrise and sunset are more easily resolved than the same item viewed at noon, when it casts no shadows.</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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