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When a planet or a satellite turns around itself, its called a rotation. When a planet goes once around the Sun, it's called a revolution. What do you call it when a satellite goes once around its planet? Is it also a revolution? But then how do you disambiguate with the satellite having gone once around the Sun?

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  • $\begingroup$ With one particular satellite, I call it a month. ;) $\endgroup$ – PM 2Ring Nov 23 '19 at 12:22
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Definitions:

Rotation can be defined as the circular motion of an object around its own axis, or upon itself.

Revolution can be defined as the circular movement of an object around an external axis, or around another body.

So a satellite moving around a planet once is called a revolution. Or an orbit. "The satellite stayed active for 3 orbits, and then the batteries ran out".

To disambiguate the case 'the satellite having gone once around the Sun': this depends. Is the satellite in orbit around a planet, or does it orbit the Sun directly?

If the satellite is in orbit around a planet, you have to describe what you mean. There's no separate word for this case, AFAIK. If it's in orbit around the Sun, it's again one orbit or one revolution.

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