Welcome to Astronomy & Telescope Astronomy



· Home
· AvantGo
· Content
· Downloads
· Encyclopedia
· Feedback
· Forums
· Journal
· Members List
· Private Messages
· Recommend Us
· Reviews
· Search
· Statistics
· Stories Archive
· Submit News
· Surveys
· Top 10
· Topics
· Web Links
· Your Account

  Who's Online

There are currently, 10 guest(s) and 0 member(s) that are online.

You are Anonymous user. You can register for free by clicking here




Select Interface Language:


  Random Headlines

Natural Skylight
[ Natural Skylight ]

·Astronomy: Natural Skylight - THE ZODIACAL LIGHT
·Astronomy: Natural Skylight - AN ELUSIVE LIGHT
·Astronomy: Natural Skylight - CURTAINS OF LIGHT
·Astronomy: Natural Skylight

  Artificial Satellite: Astronomy: Artificial Planet
Posted on Monday, November 29 @ 01:36:30 CST by astronomy
  Artificial Satellite


When stargazing, you will occasionally notice a "star" moving steadily across the sky—one of the hundreds of artificial satellites orbiting our planet.

Artificial satellites are the wallflowers of the sky. They are reserved, silent, and usually pass overhead without attracting a single glance. Yet, when they are seen, usually inadvertently, they can garner as much attention as a shooting star. At star parties, someone will often point up into the sky and shout, "Satellite!"

There are hundreds of satellites and spacecraft orbiting Earth today. They are used for everything from telecommunications, meteorology, and navigation, to Earth-resources monitoring, geophysics, and astronomy. Not all satellites are visible to the naked eye, but many are, and you can usually spot at least one on any night.

Satellites are placed into one of three types of orbit: equatorial, polar, or geostationary. Equatorial satellites travel from west to east. Because they are usually placed at low altitudes, they tend to look like bright stars and take just a few minutes to move across the sky. Polar-orbiting satellites are placed in high-altitude orbits and travel north to south or south to north. Because of their greater altitude, they look like faint stars and seem to move more slowly than equatorial satellites do. Geostationary satellites are placed at extremely high altitudes and remain fixed over the same point on Earth. They can be glimpsed only in telescopes, and even then they are no brighter than a 14th or 15th magnitude star.

When a satellite or a piece of space debris reenters Earth's atmosphere, it may flare up so brightly that it casts a shadow. Such objects are often mistaken for fireballs, which, in a sense, they are, except that they are artificial.




Don't have an account yet? You can create one. As a registered user you have some advantages like theme manager, comments configuration and post comments with your name.

  Related Links

· More about Artificial Satellite
· News by astronomy

Most read story about Artificial Satellite:
Astronomy: Artificial Planet


  Article Rating

Average Score: 0
Votes: 0

Please take a second and vote for this article:

Very Good



 Printer Friendly Printer Friendly

 Send to a Friend Send to a Friend


Associated Topics

Artificial Satellite

"Login" | Login/Create an Account | 0 comments
The comments are owned by the poster. We aren't responsible for their content.

No Comments Allowed for Anonymous, please register

  Astronomy & Telescope Astronomy

All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest © 2004 by Astronomy & Telescope Astronomy
You can syndicate our news using the file backend.php or ultramode.txt