Geostationary Definition and 5 Discussions

A geostationary orbit, also referred to as a geosynchronous equatorial orbit (GEO), is a circular geosynchronous orbit 35,786 kilometres (22,236 miles) in altitude above Earth's equator (42,164 kilometers in radius from Earth's center) and following the direction of Earth's rotation.
An object in such an orbit has an orbital period equal to the Earth's rotational period, one sidereal day, and so to ground observers it appears motionless, in a fixed position in the sky. The concept of a geostationary orbit was popularised by the science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke in the 1940s as a way to revolutionise telecommunications, and the first satellite to be placed in this kind of orbit was launched in 1963.
Communications satellites are often placed in a geostationary orbit so that Earth-based satellite antennas (located on Earth) do not have to rotate to track them but can be pointed permanently at the position in the sky where the satellites are located. Weather satellites are also placed in this orbit for real-time monitoring and data collection, and navigation satellites to provide a known calibration point and enhance GPS accuracy.
Geostationary satellites are launched via a temporary orbit, and placed in a slot above a particular point on the Earth's surface. The orbit requires some stationkeeping to keep its position, and modern retired satellites are placed in a higher graveyard orbit to avoid collisions.

View More On
  1. C

    Maximum safe mass of an asteroid in geostationary orbit

    Summary:: What is the maximum safe mass of an asteroid in geostationary orbit before it causes problems? Hello everyone, If there was an asteroid in geostationary orbit around the Earth, over the Pacific Ocean, what would be the highest mass it could have before it would start having...
  2. T

    How much work is done when a satellite is launched into orbit?

    Homework Statement A Satellite is brought up into a geostationary orbit (altitude 35800km measured from the surface of the earth). Satellite weights 1000.0kg. How much work is required to bring satellite from a surface of the Earth to geostationary orbit? Homework Equations Newton's law of...
  3. B

    Apparent (clearly false) contradiction - Kepler's Third Law

    Homework Statement When considering a satellite in geosynchronous orbit, its speed is zero across (relative to) Earth's surface. From Kepler's third Law: T2=(4π2r3)/(GM), we can derive that v2=GM/r This would tell us that as the radius of a satellite to Earth's centre increases, its velocity...
  4. P

    I Instability of a Rigid Untethered Ring Around a Planet

    I had this discussion while driving home to California from a trip to Washington state with a friend. We were discussing the stability of a completely rigid, untethered, ring-structure around Earth, and I did not know how to explain to him that such a thing must be tethered by rigid towers lest...
  5. K

    Calculating the height of a geostationary satellite of Earth

    Homework Statement Calculate the height of a geo-stationary satellite of earth. Gravitational force of earth=6.667 x 10^-11 nm^2/kgm^2 Mass of earth=6x10^24 kgm Radius of earth=6400 km V=86400 Homework Equations GM/r=v^2 r=R+h The Attempt at a Solution I plugged everything into the equation...