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FAQ:
Geostationary:
Polar orbiting:

Weather satellites

Geostationary satellites

Weather geostationary satellites are operated by EUMETSAT (Meteosat), the USA (GOES), Japan (HIMAWARI), China (Fengyun-2), Russia (Elektro–L) and India (INSAT). They orbit in the earth's equatorial plane at a height of 38,500 km. At this height, the speed of the satellite is the same as the earth's rotation, and the satellite appears to be stationary over a certain point on the equator. This orbit allows the satellite to continually observe the same area: 42% of the earth's surface. To get global coverage you need a network of 5-6 satellites. These satellites, however, do not see the poles at all.

Meteosat
Meteosat
GOES
GOES
Himawari
Himawari
FY-2
FY-2
Elektro-L
Elektro-L
INSAT
INSAT

Polar orbiting satellites

Polar orbiting weather satellites are operated by the USA (NOAA, QuikSCAT), Russia (Meteor) and China (Fengyun-1). They provide global coverages from a single satellite.

NOAA
NOAA
QuikSCAT
QuikSCAT
METEOR
METEOR
FY-1
FY-1
FAQ:
Geostationary:
Polar orbiting: