Physics - Geostationary Satellite
posted by Shaila on .
Why must a geostationary satellite orbit over the equator?
If it isn't over the equator is must obviously wander above and below the equator, since the center of its orbit is the center of the earth. The orbit is inclined to the equatorial plane.
If the satellite keeps going from north to south and back again, it isn't geostationary. DirecTV would not work, for example.
Geostationary orbit is the distance from the earth's equator that falls in sync with the planet's rotation. That specific distance (35,700km above equator) stays on a fixed point in orbit.