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Re: AO-40 Orbit Question



The "figure 8" in the ground track is an artifact of AO-40's highly 
elliptical orbit.  The satellite orbits in an inclined plane relative to 
celestial coordinates, and if the Earth did not rotate its ground track 
would be a great circle.  Since the Earth rotates, and the satellite's 
velocity varies greatly from perigee to apogee, the combination produces 
the "figure 8" appearance as the satellite alternately overtakes and 
falls behind the Earth's rotation.  (AO-40 spends most of a day at 
apogee, but much less than an hour at perigee.)

Is answer question?

> Can anyone tell me why AO-40 orbits the way it does?  Or, maybe more
> directly, what causes AO-40's orbit to be more of a figure 8?  I am a
> Physics student and am always looking for questions!
>
> Respectfully,
> Eric H. Christensen, KF4OTN

           --... ...-- -.. . -. ..... ...- -...
                   Bruce Bostwick N5VB

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