Geosynchronous orbit

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There is more information available on this subject at Geosynchronous orbit on the English Wikipedia.
A diagram of a geosynchronous orbit

A geosynchronous orbit is an orbit around a planet with an orbital period matching the planet's sidereal rotation period. The term geosynchronous can be used to describe any orbital pattern with a period equal to that of its orbiting body, and in the same direction as the parent's rotation, but is specifically used for orbits with no inclination and a semimajor axis of equal length to the minor axis (i.e. circular). Satellites in geosynchronous orbits appear to maintain their longitude, while their latitude oscillates in a 24-hour period. The geosynchronous orbit over the equator is called the geostationary orbit. Satellites in the geostationary orbit appear stationary relative to the planet's surface.

Uses[edit]

Orbital defense platforms in particular make use of geosynchronous orbits to protect the planet they orbit from attack.[1] The terminus stations of space elevators are also anchored to a geosynchronous, near-geostationary orbit.[2]

Sources[edit]