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Topic – Satellites in Space

Read the Following Selection

Read about satellites, or click on the play button below to listen aloud.

Satellites in Space

A satellite is something that orbits (moves in circles around) an object in space. Satellites can be natural or artificial.

Natural and Artificial Satellites

A natural satellite is not built by people. The Moon is always moving in circles around Earth, so the Moon orbits Earth. The Moon is a natural satellite. People did not create it.

Satellites that people build are called artificial satellites. These satellites are launched into space, and then they orbit Earth. There are two main kinds of artificial satellites—weather satellites and communications satellites.

Weather Satellites

Weather satellites collect information about the weather on Earth. Then they send the information back to Earth. Weather scientists use this information to predict what the weather will be like in the next few days. Have you ever heard a weather forecast give a warning that a bad storm is coming? Information from weather satellites helps weather scientists predict where a storm will move to next.

Communications Satellites

Communication means sending and receiving messages. Phones, radios, and the Internet are a few ways people can send and receive messages. It can be difficult to send a message from one place on Earth to another place on Earth that is very far away. It is easier to send a message up to a communications satellite in space. The communications satellite receives the message and then sends it back to Earth, to the place that will receive the message.

News shows on TV often use communications satellites. You might see someone on a news show talking to a reporter who is on the other side of Earth. The reporter’s picture and voice are sent up to a satellite. Then, the satellite sends the picture and voice back down to a TV station on Earth.

Now, show what you know!

Complete some questions about the reading selection by clicking “Begin Questions” below.

Brain Stretch: Earth orbits the Sun. What kind of satellite is Earth?