J. Space Weather Space Clim.
Volume 12, 2022
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Published online||23 December 2022|
Unexpected space weather causing the reentry of 38 Starlink satellites in February 2022
National Institute of Polar Research, Tachikawa, Tokyo 190-8518, Japan
2 The Graduate University for Advanced Studies, SOKENDAI, Tachikawa, Tokyo 190-8518, Japan
3 Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Tancha, Okinawa 904-0495, Japan
4 National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Koganei, Tokyo 184-8795, Japan
5 Faculty of Science and Technology, Seikei University, Musashino, Tokyo 180-8633, Japan
6 Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Faculty of Science, Kyushu University, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka 819-0395, Japan
* Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 5 October 2022
The accidental reentry of 38 Starlink satellites occurred in early February 2022, associated with the occurrence of moderate magnetic storms. A poorly understood structure of Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) caused the magnetic storms at unexpected timing. Therefore, a better understanding of minor CME structures is necessary for the modern space weather forecast. During this event, the “up to 50%” enhancement of air drag force was observed at ~200 km altitude, preventing the satellites’ safety operations. Although the mass density enhancement predicted by the NRLMSIS2.0 empirical model is less than 25% under the present moderate magnetic storms, the real-time GAIA simulation showed a mass density enhancement of up to 50%. Further, the real-time GAIA simulation suggests that the actual thermospheric disturbances at 200 km altitude may occur with larger amplitude in a broader area than previously thought.
Key words: Coronal mass ejections / Magnetic storms / Satellite drag
© R. Kataoka et al., Published by EDP Sciences 2022
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