by Dr. Tony
from SpaceWeatherArchive Website
Above: A Starlink satellite breaks up
over Puerto Rico on Feb. 7, 2022.
Credit: The Sociedad de Astronomia del Caribe
A minor geomagnetic storm is supposed to be minor.
A weak CME had hit Earth's magnetic field, and the resulting G1-class (minor) storm was bringing them down.
A new paper published in the research journal Space Weather provides the answer.
SpaceX launched the satellites from Cape Canaveral on Feb. 3, 2022.
Starlinks were crowded inside the Falcon 9 rocket; less than a
quarter would survive.
Right: Geomagnetic indices showing how two minor geomagnetic storms
sandwiched the launch of the Starlink satellites.
In the satellite
business, 210 km is considered to be low, barely above the
atmosphere. SpaceX starts there in case any satellite malfunctions
after launch. From 210 km, a "bad sat" can be easily de-orbited.
This movie shows what
The weaker 20%
enhancements were enough to bring down 38 out of 49 satellites.
Since the change, more
than 1200 additional Starlink satellites have been launched on 24
rockets without incident.
Extreme storms may be in the offing.
Young Solar Cycle 25 is just getting started.
The profusion of minor
storms we are observing today will intensify in the years ahead
especially as we approach Solar Max around 2025.