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Satellite Facts

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Last updated date: 04th Mar 2024
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Information About Satellite

A small object that revolves around an object much larger than itself is called a satellite. There are two types of satellites, Natural Satellite and Man-made Satellite, which continuously revolve around a planet or star. Our moon is a natural satellite that orbits the earth and even our earth is a natural satellite as it revolves around the sun. Humans have also created thousands of their own artificial, or man-made, satellites and have dropped them into Earth's orbit for various purposes, playing a huge role for us humans.


Some satellites take pictures of the earth which help meteorologists to make predictions about weather and storms etc. Some satellites take pictures of other distant planets, the Sun, black holes, dark matter or distant galaxies.  These pictures help scientists better understand and study the solar system and the universe. But even today, most satellites are mainly used for communication, such as broadcasting on TV and making phone calls around the world.


Types of Satellite

There are Mainly Two Types of Satellites.

  1. Natural Satellite:- The natural celestial bodies revolving around the planets in their orbit are called natural satellites. These satellites are formed by the explosion of planets in space. Example:- Moon is the natural satellite of Earth.

Natural Satellites: Earth and Moon.


Natural Satellites: Earth and Moon.


  1. Artificial Satellites: - These satellites are made by humans.  These satellites revolve around the earth or other planets.  These satellites are placed in planetary orbits for various purposes. Example:- Aryabhatta etc.

There are also two types of artificial satellites:

  • Synchronous or Geo-stationary or communication satellite

  • Polar Satellite

Artificial or Man-made Satellite.


Artificial or Man-made Satellite.


Fun Facts About Satellites

Some of the most interesting facts about satellites are:

  • Satellites move very fast, at about 18,000 miles per hour, which allows them to orbit the Earth 14 times a day.

  • Satellites are not destroyed by meteorites because they are programmed to avoid them.  

  • Satellites used to observe distant planets and galaxies are called astronomical satellites.

  • Satellites used to make environmental observations and maps are called earth observation satellites.

  • The satellites used to monitor the weather and climate on Earth are called weather satellites.

  • Ganymede is the largest satellite of Jupiter, the fifth planet in the Solar System.

  • The Soviet Union began the "space age" on October 4, 1957, with the launch of the world's first artificial satellite, "Sputnik 1".

  • Aryabhata was the first satellite of India which was launched on 19 April 1975.

Solved Questions

1. Which is the largest satellite?

Ans: Ganymede is the largest satellite of Jupiter.


2. Which was the first man-made satellite sent into space?

Ans: The world's first artificial satellite was "Sputnik 1".


3. Write True or False.

  1. The Moon is an Artificial Satellite. - False.

  2. Aryabhata was the first satellite of India. - True.

  3. Satellites used to observe distant planets and galaxies are called astronomical satellites. - True.

Learning by Doing

Fun Activity: Name the Natural Satellite of the Earth (Earth has only one Natural Satellite) and make a model of it.


Materials required: A rubber or plastic ball, paint and a black marker pen.

Hints: 

  • Colour the ball. (Make the ball look like a satellite.)

  • You can add black dots and circles to show scattered craters on the satellite's surface.

Summary

A small object that revolves around an object much larger than itself is called a Satellite. There are two types of Satellites, Natural satellites and Man-made satellites, which continuously revolve around a planet or star. Our moon is a natural satellite that orbits the Earth. Satellites are not destroyed by meteorites because they are programmed to avoid them.  The satellites used to monitor the weather and climate on Earth are called weather satellites.

FAQs on Satellite Facts

1. What is a Geostationary Satellite and what are its uses?

A satellite whose period is equal to that of Earth's period (24 hours).  This satellite appears stationary to any observer standing on the earth.  So that satellite is called a geostationary satellite. 


Example:- INSAT 3A satellite etc.


Uses of Geostationary Satellite:-

  1. To get meteorological information.

  2. To obtain geological information.

  3. For broadcasting television and radio programs.

  4. To study the upper regions of the atmosphere.

  5. To study meteorites.

2. What is a Polar Satellite?

Those satellites whose plane of orbit passes through near the north and south poles of the earth are called polar satellites. 


Example:- IERS satellite, SPOT satellite etc.

3. Which was the first communication satellite of India?

Apple(Ariane Passenger PayLoad Experiment) was the first communication satellite of India.