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A sun-synchronous orbit

This satellite in sun-synchronous orbit rotates eastward about 1 degree each day. Each orbit experiences about 30 minutes darkness and 72 minutes sunlight.

Sun-Synchronous Orbit


A sun-synchronous orbit describes the orbit of a satellite that provides consistent lighting of the Earth-scan view. The satellite passes the equator and each latitude at the same time each day. For example, a satellite's sun-synchronous orbit might cross the equator twelve times a day each time at 3:00 p.m. local time. The orbital plane of a sun-synchronous orbit must also precess (rotate) approximately one degree each day, eastward, to keep pace with the Earth's revolution around the sun.