Atmospheric Sciences
Artificial Satellites

What layer of the atmosphere do satellites orbit in?



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Satellites orbit in outer space, not in the earth. They are sent to outer space where the gravitational pull of the earth pulls them around, just as the earth is pulled around the sun in a similar manner. The layer is the exosphere.

It greatly depends on what the satellite is for and who owns it how far up it orbits. Imaging satellites need to be close to the Earth, so they orbit about 130 miles up. Communications satellites are generally at 23,000 miles up. GPS satellites are up about 13,000 miles.