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Encyclopedia > Polar orbit

A polar orbit is an orbit in which a satellite passes above or nearly above both poles of the planet orbiting on each revolution. It therefore has an inclination of (or very close to) 90 degrees to the equator. Except in the special case of a polar geosynchronous orbit, a satellite in a polar orbit will pass over the equator at a different longitude on each of its orbits. Two bodies with a slight difference in mass orbiting around a common barycenter. ... For other uses, see Satellite (disambiguation). ... For the science fiction novella by William Shunn, see Inclination (novella). ... World map showing the equator in red In tourist areas, the equator is often marked on the sides of roads The equator marked as it crosses Ilhéu das Rolas, in São Tomé and Príncipe. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with geostationary orbit. ... Longitude is the east-west geographic coordinate measurement most commonly utilized in cartography and global navigation. ...


Polar orbits are often used for earth-mapping-, earth observation- and reconnaissance satellites, as well as some weather satellites. The disadvantage to this orbit is that no one spot on the Earth's surface can be sensed continuously from a satellite in a polar orbit. Earth observation satellites are satellites specifically designed to observe Earth from orbit, similar to reconnaissance satellites but intended for non-military uses such as environmental monitoring, meteorology, map making etc. ... A spy satellite (officially referred to as a reconnaissance satellite or recon sat) is an Earth observation satellite or communications satellite deployed for military or intelligence applications. ... GOES-8, a United States weather satellite. ...


A satellite can hover over one polar area a large part of the time, albeit at a large distance, using a polar highly elliptical orbit with its apogee above that area. This is the principle behind a Molniya orbit. Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO) is an elliptic orbit characterized by a relatively low-altitude perigee and an extremely high-altitude apogee. ... This article is about several astronomical terms (apogee & perigee, aphelion & perihelion, generic equivalents based on apsis, and related but rarer terms. ... Molniya orbit is a class of a highly elliptic orbit with inclination of +/-63. ...


See also

The following is a list of types of orbits: // Box orbit Circular orbit Ecliptic orbit Elliptic orbit Highly Elliptical Orbit Graveyard orbit Hohmann transfer orbit Hyperbolic trajectory Inclined orbit Osculating orbit Parabolic trajectory Capture orbit Escape orbit Semi-synchronous orbit Subsynchronous orbit Synchronous orbit Geocentric orbit Geosynchronous orbit Geostationary orbit... Vandenberg Air Force Base is a base with a spaceport, located in Santa Barbara County, California. ...

External links

  • Orbital Mechanics (Rocket and Space Technology)

  Results from FactBites:
 
Satellite Orbits (496 words)
The satellite orbits at an elevation of approximately 35,790 km because that produces an orbital period (time for one orbit) equal to the period of rotation of the Earth (23 hrs, 56 mins, 4.09 secs).
Because a geostationary orbit must be in the same plane as the Earth's rotation, that is the equatorial plane, it provides distorted images of the polar regions with poor spatial resolution.
These orbits may be determined by the region on Earth that is of most interest (i.e., an instrument to study the tropics may be best put on a low inclination satellite), or by the latitude of the launch site.
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