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Why dont satellite dishes move?


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Hi All,

Was chatting with a young relative today, and trying to explain what a satellite is. I told him that they orbit the earth, much like the moon. He then stumped me with this question.

If the satellites are whizzing around the earth why dont sky satellite dishes move?

I said I'd get back to him on that... :)

Anyone know the answer!

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The "Sky TV" Ones are in a geostationary orbit..

They are in a fixed position in the sky relative to the position of the target. They have a large "Footprint" ie. the BSB one covers Penzance to Northern scotland.

See the pic below..


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Hi Spud, Basically the satellites that receive and transmit TV and other communications, are placed in an orbit far out above the Earth something like 25,000 miles. At that distance the satellite orbits at the same rate as the Earth turns on it's axis, therefore it to all intents and purposes, stationary above the Earth. and stays there all the time. Small adjustments by on board jets maintain it in an exact position, so the receiving aerial dish does not have to rotate to track the satellite.

I hope I have explained it clearly enough.

Cheers Ron. :)

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