Altitude of Geostationary Orbit, a special case of Geosynchronous Orbit (7:09)
Calculate the altitude of a satellite in geostationary orbit which is an orbit with the same 24 hour period as the Earth and always located directly over the same location on the equator. Geostationary orbit is a special case of geosynchronous orbit. A geosynchronous orbit simply has the same 24 hour period as the Earth, however, it is inclined relative to the equator and traces out an ellipse in the sky as seen from the Earth. (Sorry they are incorrectly identified as the same in the video.) Thank you to Dan Burns and Christopher Becke for the correction! This is an AP Physics 1 topic.
0:11 What is geosynchronous orbit?
0:47 Drawing the free body diagram and starting to solve the problem
3:02 Solving for the satellite’s angular velocity
4:05 Identifying the masses and radii
5:25 Defining “r” and solving for altitude
6:29 The physics works!
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- Thank you to Christopher Becke and Aarti Sangwan for being my Quality Control team for this video.
- Thank you to Youssef Nasr for transcribing the English subtitles of this video.
- Photo credits: Syncom II and Blue Marble North Pole
- NASA's webpage lists the altitude of geosynchronous orbit as 22,300 miles which is roughly 35,900 km.