Geostationary Orbit

What Does Geostationary Orbit Mean?

Geostationary orbit is a type of geosynchronous orbit of a satellite whereby it moves with the same speed as the rotation of the Earth. Because it orbits at the same speed as Earth revolves, a geostationary satellite seems to be stationary if seen from the surface of the Earth.

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Geostationary orbit is also known as geostationary Earth orbit and geosynchronous equatorial orbit.

Techopedia Explains Geostationary Orbit

A satellite in geostationary orbit remains exactly above the equator, so it does not change its position with respect to a location on Earth. A geostationary orbit is a path given to high Earth orbiting satellites to monitor weather and for observational and telecommunication purposes. High Earth orbits are orbits that are around 22,236 miles (35,786 kilometers) directly above Earth’s equator. This position is ideal since Earth’s gravitational pull is exactly such that the speed of the satellite is kept equal to the orbit velocity of the Earth.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.