You are here:

Astronomy/Viewing Satellites using Powerful Telescopes.


Dear Paul

Are there powerful Telescopes which will allow us to view all Satellites?

If not, Can those powerful Telescopes be built in the future?


Hi Prashant

This is a good question!  There are telescopes that are powerful enough to see the satellites we've put in space--in fact, you don't need a really powerful telescope to do that.  But the problem is that the satellites move relatively quickly against the background of the stars....and telescopes usually can't move that fast.  Scopes are built to track the stars and planets, and those satellites sometimes flash across the eyepiece, but it's impossible to track them down.

The field of view of a powerful telescope is very small--much smaller than the full moon--and if you make hole in a piece of paper that size, and then try to track a satellite though that hole, you'll get an idea of how hard it is.

But there are some specialized telescopes used for tracking meteors that can also be used to track satellites.  Their field of view is quite large, and the magnification is low, so that while they can see the satellite, it won't be a close-up image of the spacecraft.

Hope that helps?

Paul Wagner  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Paul Wagner


Astronomy and telescope making. Have made at least seven telescopes, both refractors and reflectors, and have spent 30 years looking at the nighttime sky.

©2017 All rights reserved.