On February 27, the most powerful solar storm in a long time hit Earth. Solar storms are caused by a coronal mass ejection (CME) cloud that is aided by the strong solar wind. Together, the intensity of the solar storm was increased and, at its peak, it was recorded as a G3 class solar storm. As usual, the solar storm disrupted GPS and affected some low-frequency wireless communications, but the actual impact was far more dangerous than any storm seen recently. The solar storm caused SpaceX to cancel its scheduled rocket launch and even forced the shutdown of oil rigs in Canada.
Solar storm delay SpaceX Rocket launch
According to one Reports Via Space.com, the launch of 21 of SpaceX’s new Starlink “V2 mini” satellites aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida was delayed more than 4.5 hours because of its scheduled launch. Due to the ongoing solar storm. Also the official Twitter handle of SpaceX Tweeted About the delay and said, “Because of a place Weather Concern, now, is no longer on target for today’s launch of 21 second-generation Starlink satellites from Florida before 6:13 pm ET.
It’s also not the first time SpaceX has had to deal with an unexpected solar storm during a launch. In February 2022, the aerospace company lost 40 satellites after a rocket launched during a solar storm.
Solar storms increase the density of gases at high altitudes by inflating the upper layer of the atmosphere. When this happens, air drag increases at these altitudes and spacecraft often struggle to maintain their upward momentum. As with smaller satellites, its effect is felt even more. Starlink The ones
Solar storm disrupts oil supply
The solar storm wasn’t the only thing delaying the rocket. It also affected oil rigs in Canada. Space Weather Physicist Dr. Timitha Skoff said that a Tweet“Ongoing strong #solarstorm is affecting #GPS and even temporarily suspending drilling platforms due to unreliability of accuracy. GPS signals and due to GICs (geographically induced currents in the ground). As we move towards more and more solar energy, such events will become more frequent.
He further explained in a separate post, “GICs reached several volts per kilometer last night and GPS signals are leaking under the aurora, which we can see right there in the image. Combine these things with drilling. “Can cause major problems for many operations because they rely on accurate GPS, especially those at high latitudes. National power grids in Canada and the USA are also currently working with GICs.”
In simple terms, geomagnetically induced currents are similar to the electromagnetic current produced in a motor. GIC causes fluctuations and even damage to many electronic devices and power grids. If kept operational, they may even be permanently damaged due to not being able to handle such a large amount of voltage.
Fortunately, it was not a G5-class solar storm, which is capable of much worse consequences, including damage to ground-based electronic equipment such as pacemakers and ventilators, as well as mobile networks and internet infrastructure. Involves causing harm. With the increasing intensity of solar energy, there is no telling when the next intense solar storm will hit us.