Roughly 500 geostationary satellites are currently placed in a static orbit (as viewed by a ground-based observer) about our planet at an
altitude ranging from 500 to 40,000 kilometers. The closest satellites orbitting the planet are believed to be spy satellites whereas most
distant are the geostationary group of satellites with an instrinsic magnitude of 11 or greater. As a result, due to their distance and faint
magnitude, geosats may be classified as the DSO's of the satellite world. At their high altitude not only can they virtually view the complete
globe below them but they also have the unique characteristic of having their orbital speed closely match the rotational speed of the earth
and, as such, give the impression to a ground-based observer of being stationary above the planet. These satellites have a wide range of
applications and functions and include remote sensing (Meteosat, GOES-East and GOES-West, GMS etc) and such telecommunication functions as
direct broadcast voice and video communications as well as live television coverage (Astra, Hot Bird, Telstar etc) by virtue of the fact they
can beam their signal from a "fixed" point in space relative to a ground source.
Note: The Astra fleet at 28.2° East is comprised of Astra 2A, 2B and 2C and whose purpose is direct to home TV, radio and interactive television. Its primary markets are the UK and Ireland but the satellites have a footprint which extends into western Europe. Astra 2A was launched on Aug 30, 1998 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan weighing 3.635 tons and featuring 28 Ku-band transponders. Astra 2B was launched on Sept 14, 2000 from Kourou, French Guyana weighing 3.315 tons and featuring 28 Ku-band transponders. Astra 2D was launched on Dec 19, 2000 from Kourou, French Guyana weighing 1.420 tons and featuring 16 Ku-band transponders.
Within the same field of view in the image below is Eurobird 1 and which was launched into orbit by an Ariane 5 rocket on March 8, 2001. It was originally placed at 33° E but later moved to 28.5° E once testing was complete. Eurobird 1 weighs 2.95 tons and its footprint covers all of Europe and northwestern Africa featuring 24 Ku-band transponders and another 12 backup transponders. Its purpose is to provide DTH transmissions, digital entertainment and Internet services.
26719 (Euro 1)
0.0 - 0.1°
2001-03-08 (Euro 1)
Mar 05, 2010
02:07 - 02:41 UT+2
AP 160 f/7.5 StarFire EDF
AP 1200GTO GEM
Baader IR Pass
1.17" per pixel