Space Storms May Be Behind Disruptions To Earth Satellites

Space storms may be behind disruptions to Earth satellites

Extreme space weather may be behind several different failures in geostationary satellites between 1996 and 2012, in turn causing a disruption to the communication systems that people use to watch TV and surf the internet.

Solar flares and coronal mass ejections from the sun can send highly energized particles from 93 million miles away to these satellites where they accumulate over time and eventually damage the satellites’ amplifiers.

Photo: Sunspot AR1748 erupted with a medium-class M3.2 flare on May 17. (NASA/SDO)