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Synchronous orbit

(astronautics) an orbit in which the orbital period of a satellite is identical to the spin period of the central body
synchronous orbit
An orbit of a satellite around a rotating body, such that one orbit is completed in the time it takes for the body to make one revolution on its own axis. From the viewpoint of the rotating body (such as Earth), a satellite in synchronous orbit appears to hover over a single position or else to sweep back and forth once per revolution along a single line in the sky. Synchronous orbit is sometimes used synonymously with geostationary orbit, although the two terms are identical only if the synchronous orbit is in the equatorial plane (when the satellite appears to hover motionless over the rotating body). Artificial satellites in synchronous orbits are commonly used in telecommunications, due to their relatively stable overhead position with respect to the Earth’s surface. Compare synchronous rotation.


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  • Synchronous-rotation

    noun, Astronomy. 1. rotation of a satellite in which the period of rotation is equal to the period of orbit around its primary, leaving the same face always pointing toward the primary: The moon is in synchronous rotation about the earth. synchronous rotation The rotation of an orbiting body on its axis in the same […]

  • Synchronous-speed

    noun, Electricity. 1. the speed at which an alternating-current machine must operate to generate electromotive force at a given frequency.

  • Synchrony

    noun, plural synchronies. 1. simultaneous occurrence; synchronism. 2. Linguistics. a synchronic approach to language study. noun 1. the state of being synchronous; simultaneity

  • Synchroscope

    [sing-kruh-skohp] /ˈsɪŋ krəˌskoʊp/ noun 1. an instrument for determining the difference in phase between two related motions, as those of two aircraft engines or two electric generators. synchroscope /ˈsɪŋkrəˌskəʊp/ noun 1. an instrument used to indicate whether two periodic quantities or motions are synchronous

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