GIS Dictionary

Browse dictionary


URL copied Share URL
  1. [astronomy] An orbital path above the earth's equator with an angular velocity that follows the earth's rotation and an inclination and eccentricity approaching zero. A geostationary satellite has the same orbital period as the earth's rotation (23 hours, 56 minutes, and 4 seconds) travelling at a rate of approximately 3km per second, causing it to appear effectively stationary. Geostationary satellites are typically positioned at much higher altitudes (typically 35,786 km above the earth's equator). While geostationary satellites are geosynchronous, a geosynchronous satellite is not necessarily geostationary.

Related Terms