Wild photo voltaic climate is inflicting satellites to plummet from orbit. It’s solely going to worsen.

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In late 2021, operators of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Swarm constellation observed one thing worrying: The satellites, which measure the magnetic area round Earth, began sinking towards the environment at an unusually quick fee — as much as 10 occasions sooner than earlier than. The change coincided with the onset of the brand new photo voltaic cycle, and specialists assume it may be the start of some troublesome years for spacecraft orbiting our planet. 

“In the last five, six years, the satellites were sinking about two and a half kilometers [1.5 miles] a year,” Anja Stromme, ESA’s Swarm mission supervisor, informed Space.com. “But since December last year, they have been virtually diving. The sink rate between December and April has been 20 kilometers [12 miles] per year.”




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Tereza Pultarova

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