Astronomy Magazine

Geostationary Orbit

Posted on the 05 April 2011 by Gabe12logan
Geostationary orbit is a special case of geosynchronous orbit. It is a circular orbit around the Earth with inclination 0° (the body is above the Earth's equator), and wherein the period of the orbit of the body is equal to the sidereal period of rotation of the Earth. The body on that orbit for an observer on Earth will always have the same position in the sky, its coordinates in the horizon coordinate system are constant.
Geostationary orbit is the orbit of Earth's artificial satellite with a period of 24 hours, Earth day, therefore, satellite went into Earth once during her day. The height of the geostationary orbit is 36,000 km.
If you put in geostationary orbit satellite as a repeater, which would be received and transmitted communication signals within its area of coverage back to the earth, equidistant from three such repeaters can cover the entire earth's surface. This means, to any place on planet Earth could theoretically receive radio or television programs no matter where they are made and at the same moment in which they broadcast.
Geostationary orbit
• Orbits over the equator
• Goes through one orbit every 24 hours
• Rotates at the same speed as the earth and “sits” over the same spot the entire time
• ~22,000 miles above Earth
• Need 5 satellites to cover Earth
• Used mainly for weather monitoring applications

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