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Geostationary

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Definition Edit

Geostationary refers to an object, such as a satellite, that is in a circular orbit 35,786 kilometres (22,236 mi) above the Earth's equator and follows the direction of the Earth's rotation. An object in such an orbit has an orbital period equal to the Earth's rotational period (one sidereal day), and thus appears motionless, at a fixed position in the sky, to ground observers.

Overview Edit

Communications satellites and weather satellites are often given geostationary orbits, so that the satellite antennas that communicate with them do not have to move to track them, but can be pointed permanently at the position in the sky where they stay. A geostationary orbit is a particular type of geosynchronous orbit.


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