- GOES operations home page:
- Geostationary satellites orbit in
the earth's equatorial plane at a height of
35,800 km. Note that the typical space
shuttle orbit is only 225-250 km. Here is a diagram to
give you a better perspective.
- At this height, the satellite's
orbital period matches the rotation of the Earth,
so the satellite seems to stay stationary over
the same point on the equator.
- Geostationary satellites always
view the same geographical area, day or night.
For example, GOES East is always seeing the
- This is ideal for making regular
sequential observations of cloud patterns over a
region with visible and infrared radiometers
- High temporal resolution and
constant viewing angles are the defining features
of geostationary imagery.
WHY 35,800 km??