Wild solar weather causes satellites to fall from orbit.  Things will get worse.

Wild solar weather causes satellites to fall from orbit. Things will get worse.

In late 2021, operators of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Swarm constellation noticed something troubling: satellites, which measure the magnetic field around Earth, began to sink into the atmosphere at an unusually fast rate — ten times faster than before. The change coincided with the start of the new solar cycle, and experts believe it could be the start of some tough years for spacecraft orbiting our planet.

“In the past five or six years, satellites have sunk two and a half kilometers [1.5 miles] “Every year,” Anya Ström, ESA’s Swarm mission manager, told Space.com. But since December of last year, they’ve been virtually diving. The average drowning between December and April was 20 km [12 miles] every year.”


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