CHRIS BJORNBERG / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRIS BJORNBERG / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Communications satellite. Illustration of a communications satellite in space with the Earth and a galaxy in the background. Communications satellites act as relay vehicles for radio signals. Most communication satellites are now placed in geosynchronous orbit 35,700 kilometres above the equator. In this orbit, the orbital period is the same as the Earth's rotation period, so the satellite appears to 'hover' above the same point at all times. Communication satellites are used to relay telephone and fax messages, computer data and to broadcast television signals.
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