MIKE AGLIOLO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MIKE AGLIOLO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Satellite communications. Conceptual image of global communication by satellite, showing two hands pointing to a satellite that is beaming information to Earth. The south-east Asia regions of Earth are receiving the signal. Communications satellites act as relay vehicles for radio signals. Most communication satellites are 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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