Our beautiful yet fragile Earth from the Geostationary orbit. “A Year Along the Geostationary Orbit” is a 16-minute short film by the German engineer Felix Dierich. He used the Japanese weather satellite Himawari 8 data made publicly available by the Japanese and Australian governments to craft a timelapse while producing this amazing time-lapse of Earth from space.

Launched on October 7, 2018, Himawari 8 orbits Earth in the geostationary orbit, which is 35,786 km (22,236 mi) above Earth’s equator – much further than the International Space Station (ISS) which orbits Earth at a distance of about 410 kilometers (255 miles) yet much closer than the Moon. The average distance between the Earth and the moon is 384,400 km (238,855 miles).

“A YearAlong the Geostationary Orbit” is the winner of the 2019 Vimeo Staff Pick Award at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival.

A year through the distant eyes of meteorological satellite Himawari-8 – a hypnotic stream of Earth’s beauty, fragility, and disasters. Animation of satellite irradiation scan measurements, scientific data by meteorological satellite Himawari-8 courtesy of JMA/BoM/NCI. Winner of the 2019 Vimeo Staff Pick Award at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival. Satellite observations were originally processed by the Bureau of Meteorology from the geostationary meteorological satellite Himawari-8 operated by the Japan Meteorological Agency. Access to this dataset was provided by the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI), which is supported by the Australian Government.

What is a geostationary orbit?

A geostationary orbit, geostationary Earth orbit, or geosynchronous equatorial orbit (GEO) is a circular orbit 35,786 kilometers (22,236 mi) above the Earth’s equator and following the direction of the Earth’s rotation. An object in such an orbit has an orbital period equal to the Earth’s rotational period (one sidereal day) and thus appears motionless, at a fixed position in the sky, to ground observers.

Geostationary, Molniya, Tundra, Polar & Sun Synchronous Orbits Explained. Illustrating different classes of orbits commonly used by satellites in Earth orbit, there are special classes of orbit designed to solve certain problems and the physics behind them is important. Video by Scott Manley.

Felix Dierich

Felix Dierich - director of A Year Along the Geostationary Orbit
Felix Dierich – the director of “A Year Along the Geostationary Orbit”. Image source: dceff.org

Felix Dierich was born 1980 and grew up in Lübeck, Germany; studied computer science and arts and media at Oldenburg University; lives in Oldenburg and works in the renewable energy sector; occupies himself with short films, photography, and installations and used to do organization and film selection for ZwergWERK Short Film Festival.


M. Özgür Nevres

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