Geostationary orbit diagram

Geostationary orbit diagram

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Credit: DAVID DUCROS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Geostationary orbit diagram. This orbit (blue circle) is used for telecommunication and weather satellites. The satellites orbit at an altitude of 35,786 kilometres above the equator, completing one orbit in the same amount of time that it takes the Earth to turn on its axis (rod and arrow). This means that the satellite remains stationary over a fixed point on the equator, allowing it to continuously observe, or receive and transmit from, a fixed region of the Earth, some directly below, others further away (four example areas highlighted in pink). This orbit is also called Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO). Solar panels (blue) provide power.

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