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GeoStationary HighWay

20 Feb 2010, 18:38 UTC
GeoStationary HighWay
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Cool astro photo ‘movie’ by Babak A. Tafreshi .
Geostationary Orbits are over five times the radius of the Earth, approximately 36000 km above sea level. Objects in such orbits have orbital period equal to the Earth’s rotation and would remain stationary over the same point on the Earth’s equator. Geostationary objects appear motionless in the sky, making extremely useful for communications (including TV broadcast) and weather satellites. While in 1945 Arthur C. Clark was the first to suggest the usefulness of such an orbit, there are now over 370 satellites in Geostationary orbits. But while they are motionless relative to the Earth surface, they are moving objects against the background sky as they are rotating around our planet in this space high way with speed ten times faster than an airliner. Although they are some of the furthest satellites, but surprisingly, given dark enough skies, it is possible, armed with a telescope or a pair of binocular to spot some of the them in the geostationary ring. Typically these satellites are at magnitude. +11 or fainter (over 100 times fainter than naked-eye visibility), but as recorded in this video they are brightening by several magnitudes when the geometry ...

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