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Homework Help: Satellite geometry physics problem

  1. Feb 11, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A geosynchronous satellite is stationary over a point on the equator (zero degrees latitude) at the same longitude as Seattle, Washington. Seattle's latitude is 47.6°. If you want to communicate with the satellite, at what angle above the horizon must you point your communication device? The Earth's radius is 6.38×10^6 m. Hint: You will also need the law of sines and the law of cosines.

    2. Relevant equations

    Sin angleA/A=sin angleB/B
    radius of a geosynchronous satellite= 3.58e7 meters

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I drew a triangle- a quick question would the angle at which the line tangent to the surface and the radius of the earth be a right angle?

    I got
    I'm not sure how to solve for x here...and I don't think this equation is right...
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 12, 2008 #2
    well I don't know if the equation is correct or not, but for finding x,

    sin(90+x)=cos x ........This is an identity. You will need a scientific calculator to find cos inverse.
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