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FAQeFAQs - What is geosynchronous orbit?
What is geosynchronous orbit?
A geosynchronous orbit may be defined as one with an orbital period (the time needed to orbit once around the Earth) that matches the rotation rate of the Earth. This is a sidereal day, which is 23 hours 56 minutes and 4 seconds in length, and represents the time taken for the Earth to rotate once about its polar axis relative to a distant fixed point. This is about four minutes shorter than the common day length of 24 hours, which is relative to the sun.

The following parameters are always true for any geostationary satellite:

Parameter

Value

Height above equator

35,785 km (22,236 miles)

Orbit radius

42,155 km (26,194 miles)

Orbit circumference

264,869 km (164,582 miles)

Arc length per degree

736 km (457 miles)

Orbital velocity

11,066 km/hr= 3.07 km/sec (6,876 miles/hr)

Source: Eumetstat
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