May 21, 2024

Musk says geomagnetic storm impacting Starlink satellites, ‘degraded service’ reported

Elon Musk has mentioned that the highly effective geomagnetic storm hitting Earth proper now’s placing Starlink satellites beneath super pressure.

Conditions reached stage 5 on the 5-point scale of geomagnetic exercise on Friday night, in response to the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) which says its satellites noticed an “extreme” occasion — the primary such storm to achieve that stage since October 2003. 

“Major geomagnetic solar storm happening right now. Biggest in a long time,” Musk wrote on X, previously Twitter early this morning. “Starlink satellites are under a lot of pressure, but holding up so far.”

Starlink, the satellite tv for pc arm of Elon Musk’s SpaceX, warned on its web site Saturday morning that it was experiencing “degraded service,” although it did not give additional particulars. Fox Business has reached out to SpaceX for remark. 


Elon Musk

Elon Musk has mentioned that the highly effective geomagnetic storm hitting Earth proper now’s placing Starlink satellites beneath super pressure. (Maja Hitij/Getty Images |  Wikipedia Commons / Getty Images)

The firm has about 6,000 satellites in low earth orbit that talk with floor transceivers delivering high-speed web to clients. 

The inter-satellite laser hyperlinks to cross information between each other in house on the pace of sunshine, permitting the community to supply web protection all over the world. Starlink owns round 60% of the roughly 7,500 satellites orbiting Earth and is a dominant participant in satellite tv for pc web.

If satellites are impacted, they may disrupt navigation and communication providers on Earth.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says {that a} G5 geomagnetic storm may cause “widespread voltage control problems” and that some grid methods might expertise full collapse or blackouts. Electrical strains present in folks’s properties are usually not understood to be in danger.

A geomagnetic storm, the company says, is a serious disturbance of Earth’s magnetosphere and happens when there may be an change of vitality from the photo voltaic wind into the house surroundings surrounding Earth. It sometimes includes highly effective photo voltaic flares generally known as Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) being emitted from the solar. At least seven have been noticed since Wednesday.

Elon Musk starlink geomagnetic storm

A robust geomagnetic storm hitting Earth proper now’s placing Starlink satellites beneath super pressure, in response to SpaceX chief Elon Musk (Frederic J. Brown/AFP by way of Getty Images, left Peter Zay/Anadolu by way of Getty Images, high proper, SpaceX, backside proper. / Getty Images)


The storms end result from variations within the photo voltaic wind that produce main modifications within the currents, plasma and fields in Earth’s magnetosphere.

The NOAA says the storm is prone to persist over the weekend, posing dangers to navigation methods, energy grids, and satellite tv for pc navigation, amongst different providers. The final time Earth skilled a Level 5 geomagnetic occasion, there have been energy outages in Sweden and broken transformers in South Africa.

The storm induced the skies throughout the U.S. to mild up in a spectacular, colourful glow at ranges not seen in years or many years as huge photo voltaic flares slammed into Earth on Friday.


The aurora borealis seen in California

The blinking lights of a airplane streak by means of the aurora borealis, often known as the northern lights, seen over Lake Berryessa, Calif., close to midnight on Saturday 11, 2024. (Carlos Avila Gonzalez/San Francisco Chronicle by way of Getty Images / Getty Images)

Northern Light shows, sometimes relegated to states alongside the Canadian border throughout a typical geomagnetic storm, reached so far as the Gulf Coast, with pink, inexperienced and purple skies reported in Florida, Texas and Alabama. 

While situations have since drifted again to a stage 4 storm on Saturday morning, extra geomagnetic exercise is heading Earth’s means over the weekend from extra photo voltaic flares, probably lasting into early subsequent week.

Fox Weather and Reuters contributed to this report.