A massive solar storm may take satellites out of their orbit, including Starlink

Over the past few weeks, we have been reporting activity on the surface of the sun, such as how large sunspots have been appearing and our star has been sending our solar flares. Astronomers have been watching sunspots keenly since they are precursors to turbulent space weather, which can severely impact our communication and navigation systems.

How geomagnetic storms damage satellites

Earlier this year, Elon Musk’s SpaceX lost 40 of its Starlink satellites to a geomagnetic storm that hit soon after the Falcon 9 rocket had placed them in their low orbit perigees, the closest point to Earth. The storm that followed prevented SpaceX from raising the orbits of these satellites, which then reentered the atmosphere and burned up.

However, it is not just new satellites that face the brunt of the highly charged storms. The space just above the Earth is filled with all sorts of junk ranging from spent rocket stages to defunct spacecraft and not to forget the tens of thousands of debris from other space collisions that are just floating around.

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