Quick Answer: Why Do Satellites Fly In A Wave Pattern?

What is the path of a satellite?

Satellites move in a path around the Earth called an orbit.

Every satellite must have an orbital path (remember, satellites that travel into deep space to look at distant planets are not true satellites, they are in fact space probes), and the type of path it takes is determined by the physics involved..

Why do satellites move in an elliptical orbit?

Satellites – Elliptical Orbits. An elliptical orbit, also called an eccentric orbit, is in the shape of an ellipse. … When the satellite is in the part of its orbit closest to the Earth, it moves faster because the Earth’s gravitational pull is stronger.

Why do satellites travel in a sine wave?

The reason an orbit looks like a “sine wave” is because the plane of the orbit is tilted to the equator. The northern tip of the wave is the northernmost latitude the orbit crosses; the southern tip, the southernmost.

Do satellites accelerate?

satellite is a projectile. Second, a satellite is acted upon by the force of gravity and this force does accelerate it towards the Earth. In the absence of gravity a satellite would move in a straight line path tangent to the Earth. … Indeed, a satellite is accelerating towards the Earth due to the force of gravity.

How does a satellite stay in orbit physics?

A satellite maintains its orbit by balancing two factors: its velocity (the speed it takes to travel in a straight line) and the gravitational pull that Earth has on it. A satellite orbiting closer to the Earth requires more velocity to resist the stronger gravitational pull.

Do satellites follow the same path?

A satellite in a Molniya orbit takes 12 hours to complete its orbit, but it spends about two-thirds of that time over one hemisphere. Like a semi-synchronous orbit, a satellite in the Molniya orbit passes over the same path every 24 hours.