geo·​sta·​tion·​ary | \ ˌjē-ō-ˈstā-shə-ˌner-ē How to pronounce geostationary (audio) \

Definition of geostationary

: being or having an equatorial orbit at an altitude of about 22,300 miles (35,900 kilometers) requiring an angular velocity the same as that of the earth so that the position of a satellite in such an orbit is fixed with respect to the earth

Examples of geostationary in a Sentence

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Imagery from geostationary satellites is always used as well. Adam Sobel, New York Times, "What Will Turn Hurricane Dorian? How Wide Is the Eye? Your Questions Answered.," 1 Sep. 2019 Most previous space elevator designs have proposed stretching cables up from Earth and out into the geostationary orbit. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "Astronomers Have Another Space Elevator Design," 30 Aug. 2019 The bulk of satellite communications today comes through objects in a geostationary orbit, some 36,000km above the Earth. The Economist, "Space law is inadequate for the boom in human activity there," 17 July 2019 Then, once the station was completed, NASA could use smaller, space-only vehicles to extend the reach of humans farther outward, to geostationary orbit and the LaGrange points. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "The Greatest Leap, part 6: After Apollo, NASA still searching for an encore," 21 July 2019 But China has tested missiles apparently capable of getting all the way to geostationary orbit—the altitude where satellites take 24 hours to get round the Earth, and thus seem to stay above the same place all the time. The Economist, "Attacking satellites is increasingly attractive—and dangerous," 18 July 2019 Unlike traditional communication satellites, which orbit in geostationary orbits at an extreme distance from the Earth, the Starlink satellites will sit in low-Earth orbit. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Elon Musk Wants Global Broadband Internet. Here's His First Step," 13 May 2019 This decade, the United States’ geostationary satellite program—GOES—is in the midst of an $11 billion makeover, run by Lockheed Martin. Andrew Blum, WIRED, "Inside the Room Where They Control the Weather Satellites," 25 June 2019 Through solar power, the geostationary belt surrounding Earth has the potential to provide 332 terawatts of energy, which would meet the globe’s power requirements several times over. Jack H. Burke, National Review, "China’s New Wealth-Creation Scheme: Mining the Moon," 13 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'geostationary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of geostationary

1961, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for geostationary

The first known use of geostationary was in 1961

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More from Merriam-Webster on geostationary

Britannica English: Translation of geostationary for Arabic Speakers

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to make a temporary encampment

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