VIDEO: Watch Starlink Satellites Fall from the Sky

Video follows below. As many as 40 Starlink satellites are currently falling out of the sky–the surprising result of a minor geomagnetic storm. SpaceX made the announcement yesterday:

“On Thursday, Feb. 3rd at 1:13 p.m. EST, Falcon 9 launched 49 Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. … Unfortunately, the satellites deployed on Thursday were significantly impacted by a geomagnetic storm on Friday, [Feb. 4th].”

Most of the recent batch of Starlink satellites launched on February 3, 2022, may have reentered the Earth’s atmosphere, or will do it soon, as a recent geomagnetic storm prevented the satellites from reaching their intented orbit, SpaceX said.

As of February, over 2,000 Starlink satellites have been launched, as part of a constellation that provides satellite internet access to remote areas, and most of Earth. On February 3, 2022, a Falcon 9 rocket was launched from Cape Canaveral with 49 new Starlink satellites, designated as group G4-7. Soon after the launch, satellite tracking experts suspected something went wrong, as the details of the orbit of these new satellites were not still published. In fact, it’s possible that one or more of the satellites reentered the atmosphere over the Caribbean recently.

This video from cameras that monitor the skies of Puerto Rico, from Sociedad de Astronomia del Caribe, shows an interesting event that appears to be related:  first, an object is seen disintegrating, with noticeable fragmentation, which is characteristic of space debris. Impressive visuals are seen moments later, as just one minute later, a bigger object is seen in a spectacular disintegration event, and satellite tracking experts agree the event is probably related to the Starlink satellites launched on February 3, 2022.It turns out that a recent solar storm may be responsible.

“Unfortunately, the satellites deployed on Thursday were significantly impacted by a geomagnetic storm on Friday. These storms cause the atmosphere to warm and atmospheric density at our low deployment altitudes to increase. In fact, onboard GPS suggests the escalation speed and severity of the storm caused atmospheric drag to increase up to 50 percent higher than during previous launches. The Starlink team commanded the satellites into a safe-mode where they would fly edge-on (like a sheet of paper) to minimize drag—to effectively “take cover from the storm”—and continued to work closely with the Space Force’s 18th Space Control Squadron and LeoLabs to provide updates on the satellites based on ground radars.Preliminary analysis show the increased drag at the low altitudes prevented the satellites from leaving safe-mode to begin orbit raising maneuvers, and up to 40 of the satellites will reenter or already have reentered the Earth’s atmosphere. The deorbiting satellites pose zero collision risk with other satellites and by design demise upon atmospheric reentry—meaning no orbital debris is created and no satellite parts hit the ground.”, SpaceX said in a recent update.

Marco Langbroeg, a satellite tracking expert from the Netherlands, said: 

“I did astrometry on the Puerto Rico sighting, and the orbital inclination fits the 53.2 degrees of the Starlink launch.  My best guess still remains that this was one of the failed Starlink satellites from Feb 3.”

Each Starlink satellite has a size of 10.5 ft (3.2 meter) x 5.25 ft (1.6 meters) and weights 573 lbs. (260 kilograms). Some of the doomed satellites will be reentering the atmosphere during the next few days, and although it is still uncertain exactly where and when, just in case, keep looking up!

Article by Eddie Irizarry / Sociedad de Astronomia del Caribe (SAC) www.SociedadAstronomia.com

Facebook.com/sociedad.astronomia

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markl
February 9, 2022 11:27 am

It’s obvious we need to do something to stop these geomagnetic storms because they are contributing to global warming. Maybe Greta has some ideas?

Vuk
Reply to  markl
February 9, 2022 12:00 pm

Hi Mark
That is not as ‘ridiculous’ comment as may have been intended. However, geomagnetic storms do not contribute to warming but in the winter months cause the stratospheric warming (expansion of stratosphere as mentioned above. The sudden stratospheric warming weakens and splits polar vortex, that in turn loses control of the polar jet stream which then turns from zonal to meandering meridional circulation.
Consequently cold Arctic air moves further south than usual bringing freezing cold weather to greater part of North America’ continent.
Elsewhere warmer subtropical air moves further north so near zero net global temperature effect.
This is as expected since total geomagnetic storms energy is large in terms of total global thermal energy is next to negligent. No energy gained or lost.
As it was often said “It’s sun stultus”

Last edited 9 months ago by vuk
Reply to  Vuk
February 10, 2022 1:02 am

Hi Vuk
It seems to me they admit that this small cme threw an enormous amount of heat TOA. This can change the weather on earth….
‘These storms cause the atmosphere to warm and atmospheric density at our low deployment altitudes to increase.’

Reply to  HenryP
February 10, 2022 1:08 am

That kind of heat produced by the sun is nothing compared to the heat trapped on or by earth due to…..ehhhh….
https://breadonthewater.co.za/2022/01/10/global-warming-due-to-ehhh-global-greening/

Vuk, I would be very much interested to hear your opinion on that?

MarkW
Reply to  HenryP
February 10, 2022 7:26 am

Still hoping to find someone who agrees with you?

Reply to  MarkW
February 10, 2022 7:46 am

MarkW

Vuk is an old friend of mine from the UK. We used to give old dr Leif Svalgaard a tough time here. Maybe that was before your time here?

MarkW
Reply to  HenryP
February 10, 2022 9:58 am

Not at all relevant to your greening causing warming nonsense.

Peter Fraser
Reply to  HenryP
February 10, 2022 11:10 am

I assume you are referring to adiabatic heating.

beng135
Reply to  HenryP
February 11, 2022 6:53 am

The solar wind has almost negligible mass. The “heat-content” of it has no effect except to raise the extremely-low density ionosphere a bit higher. That DOES have an effect on very-fast moving, low-orbit objects.

Last edited 9 months ago by beng135
Rah
Reply to  markl
February 10, 2022 8:19 am

I could not think of anything better for her to do than to scold the sun.

Joao Martins
Reply to  markl
February 10, 2022 8:49 am

Start by sniffing magnetic vibrations…

Ron Long
February 9, 2022 11:36 am

Is William Shatner OK?

Derg
Reply to  Ron Long
February 9, 2022 11:44 am

I still crack up thinking how NASA wants the fittest, smartest and well qualified humans for space travel and old fat Bill Shatner went up no problem.

beng135
Reply to  Ron Long
February 11, 2022 7:34 am

He’s alright — fortunately didn’t burn up.

February 9, 2022 11:46 am

A sobering example of space weather at it’s best / worst.

JCalvertN(UK)
February 9, 2022 12:05 pm

Cool!
More fun than watching burning Teslas.

Last edited 9 months ago by JCalvertN(UK)
Redge
Reply to  JCalvertN(UK)
February 9, 2022 11:02 pm

And a much rarer event 😀

MarkW
Reply to  JCalvertN(UK)
February 10, 2022 7:27 am
GeorgiePorgie
February 9, 2022 12:23 pm

This is somewhat expected behavior of these low cost satellites. They are cheap and fly low and non-rad hard parts and are designed to be easily replaceable mesh and highly available. So bad solar storm knocks a few out you just launch a few more.

Robert B
Reply to  GeorgiePorgie
February 9, 2022 12:36 pm

It seems to be as bad or worse more often than once a month.

Yooper
Reply to  GeorgiePorgie
February 9, 2022 12:39 pm

Yeah, but, what happens when we have a big solar storm? I’ll bet that it’ll sweep most of the Starlink constellation away. This might turn out to be the hidden Gotcha that kills the whole idea.

TonyG
Reply to  Yooper
February 10, 2022 8:57 am

The X1 last October didn’t even result in a slower connection, so I think it will take a pretty big one to do that.

High Treason
February 9, 2022 12:36 pm

The narrative of a CME knocking out world wide communications or even the electrical grid is being built up. To control the world-have people allow their freedoms to be relinquished, we must be made to live in fear.
There was the cAGW scare, which we all recognise as a hoax. Then it became “climate change” as the narrative started to evaporate-we had to be kept in fear.
Then, there was the scamdemic. Death numbers were inflated by bribes paid to hospitals to record deaths from any causes being recorded as being OF COVID, when they were WITH COVID. Note, the PCR test cannot distinguish between influenza and “the virus.” The test is faulty.
The absurd measures to “combat” the fake crises are designed to totally destroy wealth and entire economies. With total economic collapse, people will relinquish their freedom just to stay alive. Effectively, these hoaxes are to deprive us of our wealth and our liberty. We are being scammed at every turn.
People around the world are waking up to the COVID related scam and are starting to revolt, so even this hyped up propaganda campaign is evaporating.
Trying to start a war has failed, so the mass communication blackout and/or taking down the power grid is the next tactic to keep us in fear.
A couple of quotes from the past, which show this sort of fearmongering to demonstrate that treachery is nothing unique:-
“Those that would trade essential Liberty, to purchase some temporary safety, shall deserve neither Liberty nor Safety and shall receive neither.”-Benjamin Franklin.
“Those that can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”-Voltaire. I think we would all agree that forcing young children to be subjected to untested, experimental drugs when they are not even vulnerable to the disease is an atrocity, especially with the suppression of adverse event recording.
“When injustice becomes Law, Resistance becomes Duty”-Thomas Jefferson.
“Our job is not to wake the sheep,. It is to wake the Lions.”-Thomas Sowell.
“All that is required for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”-Edmund Burke.

Vlad the Impaler
Reply to  High Treason
February 9, 2022 1:25 pm

To that you can add H. L. Mencken’s famous quote: “The whole purpose of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

If you like videos, try this one from Jo’s website, on the posting about the trucker protest convoy:

https://youtu.be/09maaUaRT4M

Regards to all,

Vlad

noaaprogrammer
Reply to  Vlad the Impaler
February 9, 2022 9:43 pm

… and a few more:

“Cowardice asks the question – is it safe? Expediency asks the question – is it politic? Vanity asks the question – is it popular? But conscience asks the question – is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right.”
–       Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
“Villainy wears many masks; none so dangerous as the mask of virtue.”
–       Washington Irving
 
“I’ve had my patience tested. I’m negative.”
–       Anonymous

Vlad the Impaler
Reply to  noaaprogrammer
February 10, 2022 4:34 am

“When the Government fears the People, there is Liberty; when the People fear the Government, there is Tyranny.”

T. Jefferson

pigs_in_space
Reply to  High Treason
February 10, 2022 2:55 pm

Err you are aware that when the Soviets let off a high altitude nuclear weapons test the HE EMP burnt out a roughly 500kms length of important buried underground cabling.

You only have to show real ignorance is bliss when you see the massive damage to transformers in Quebec on the occasion of a quite large CME some years ago March 13, 1989.
https://spaceweatherarchive.com/2021/03/12/the-great-quebec-blackout/

“Québec is especially vulnerable. The province sits on an expanse of Precambrian igneous rock that does a poor job conducting electricity. When the March 13th CME arrived, storm currents found a more attractive path in the high-voltage transmission lines of Hydro-Québec.”

After darkness engulfed Quebec, bright auroras spread as far south as Florida, Texas, and Cuba. Reportedly, some onlookers thought they were witnessing a nuclear exchange

comment image

Auroras over Pershore, England, during the March 13, 1989, geomagnetic storm.

fretslider
February 9, 2022 1:01 pm

Catch a falling star – link

Vuk
Reply to  fretslider
February 9, 2022 1:27 pm

It’s more like falling junk caused by particles of our local star falling into the planets’ atmosphere.

Richard Page
Reply to  fretslider
February 9, 2022 2:27 pm

Yeah. These are the same people developing commercial manned space missions. Think I’ll pass on that.

H.R.
Reply to  Richard Page
February 9, 2022 7:22 pm

Hmmm… once in a lifetime space rides?

February 9, 2022 1:23 pm

On 4 Feb 2022, from 19:52 CST to beyond 21:48 CST, two of my twilight photometers detected very significant optical noise in the near IR unlike anything I’ve detected since 2013. Does anyone know if this could this have been caused by the Starlink satellites breaking up? The y-axis in the chart is the height of Earth’s shadow, which is related to the times shown above from the beginning of the noise to the top of the chart. The noise is time-dependent and not related to altitude.

Unusual zenith sky on Feb 4 2022 .jpg
Mike McMillan
Reply to  Forrest M. Mims III
February 10, 2022 11:25 am

A twilight photometer is something I would expect Forrest Mims III to have. Long time fan.

John in Oz
February 9, 2022 1:24 pm

If you wish to know how many of these could fall on our heads, see https://satellitemap.space/#

Joseph Zorzin
February 9, 2022 1:29 pm

“a recent geomagnetic storm prevented the satellites from reaching their intended orbit”

why does a geomagnetic strom cause satelilites to not reach their intended orbit?

Rocketscientist
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
February 9, 2022 5:47 pm

The storm expands the atmosphere and whips up its surface pushing the edge of space just a bit further out, a smidge further than these inexpensive satellites were flying.
Now they are expensive fireworks.

February 9, 2022 1:33 pm

Muskoid shower..

Peta of Newark
February 9, 2022 2:00 pm

What are all these Sputniks for….
Ah you say, so that The Poor Under-Developed People can have The Interweb, TV, mobile phones and etc etc

Has anyone actually asked them if they want this stuff?
I would judge it by all the previous ‘gifts’ that have been bestowed on Poor People by well intentioned westerners…
Such as…

  • Whiskey
  • Guns
  • Syphilis
  • Refined sugar
  • Pizza
  • Coca Cola
  • Heroin
  • Trash TV
  • and latterly Covid

Did those folks actually want those things, somehow they ain’t worked out too well

You know why the Poor People need those things – they don’t need them at all.

Western Folks need them.
Western Folks are relentlessly paranoid – they are scared shitless by The Poor People and giving them all that junk and makes them dependant = Western Folks gain control over The Poor People.
Western Folks then know where the poor people are, what they’re doing, how many there are, what they’re eating etc etc
And that junk don’t come cheap.

And you thought slavery was a thing of the past………?

Smart Meters and Electric Cars will remove the last vestiges of freedom, liberty and joy from the little people of the west, those Sputniks are the vanguard for the whole rest of the world

Adrian Mann
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 9, 2022 2:10 pm

Don’t worry – you’ll be able to use your gun, bible and pickup truck to defend you trailer park from them Poor People, so you can use that there Interweb to make sure we all get to hear your opinion. I wonder who decided we needed that?

MarkW
Reply to  Adrian Mann
February 10, 2022 7:29 am

So many unwarranted assumptions. Do you really dislike people who are different from you that much?

L R C
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 9, 2022 2:41 pm

There are still many rural parts of the US that don’t have internet access. There are still areas of the lower 48 that don’t have cellular access. Even when the FCC thought thought that DSL was good enough, the big tech providers thought it wasn’t worth the money.

MarkW
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 9, 2022 2:55 pm

Nobody is forcing these things on “poor people”. Your eagerness to protect people from things you don’t like is noted.

TonyG
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 10, 2022 9:01 am

I don’t know about “poor people” but I’m pretty happy about starlink which gives me a solid high-speed internet connection at my rural home.

Mike McMillan
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 10, 2022 11:30 am

“and latterly Covid”

It’s a bit of a stretch to blame the China virus on Westerners. The Wuhan germ warfare lab would have developed it regardless of any funding from “Dr Science” Fauci.

Last edited 9 months ago by Mike McMillan
Ed Zuiderwijk
February 9, 2022 2:09 pm

What goes up will come down..

son of mulder
February 9, 2022 2:23 pm

Oh dear Elon, anything else you haven’t considered?

DMacKenzie
Reply to  son of mulder
February 9, 2022 5:25 pm

49 went up…40 came down…hmmm…”solar storm” sounds a bit too much like a plausible deniability cover-up….

Carlo, Monte
February 9, 2022 2:49 pm

Aren’t these Musk Sats in very low orbits by design?

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
February 9, 2022 3:05 pm

As explained to me by a rocket-scientist friend, they are launched, initially, into a low orbit, checked out, and those that are working are then boosted to a much more stable orbit. The culls are allowed to re-enter the atmosphere and burn up. This time, the storm screwed up the plans.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
February 9, 2022 6:21 pm

Ah thanks, this makes sense—a lot more than weakening planetary magnetic field fear screechings.

MarkW
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
February 10, 2022 10:02 am

Just a thought, but maybe they could boost them say 20 or 30% of the way from the low orbit where the booster deposited them to the final orbit. That’s high enough that atmospheric drag should be low, even during a solar storm, but still low enough that they have enough fuel left to completely de-orbit the craft if it should fail self-tests.
If it passes self-test it gets boosted the rest of the way to it’s final orbit.

Sara
February 9, 2022 4:22 pm

And here, I thought those streaks were someone firing off rockets to tell me “Happy Birthday”. Oh, well – maybe next time. 🙂

yirgach
Reply to  Sara
February 10, 2022 2:15 pm

Happy Birthday Sara!

Smart Rock
February 9, 2022 5:36 pm

If the geomagnetic storm affects large parts of the atmosphere, why weren’t more of the 2,000 satellites re-entering, and not just the 49 they launched this time? Just asking.

Cynic in me suspects that the launch went wrong and put the new satellites in too low an orbit.

rbabcock
Reply to  Smart Rock
February 9, 2022 6:48 pm

Looking back, the new satellites were put in too low an orbit. If they were launched 30 miles higher they might have survived. But there is a trade off. You can launch more satellites into a lower initial orbit, or fewer satellites into a higher initial orbit. Additionally the Falcon 9 carries enough extra fuel to return intact to Earth, so if you just let the booster fall into the ocean, you could have gone higher with the 49 but you buy a new booster.

Most of the Starlink satellites have been launched with a quiet Sun. Maybe time to rethink now the solar cycle is ramping up.

Rah
Reply to  rbabcock
February 10, 2022 8:24 am

Some of the strongest solar storms observed have come during periods of low solar activity:

BCBill
February 9, 2022 8:33 pm

So that’s what an extraterrestrial invasion would look like. Scary.

oeman 50
Reply to  BCBill
February 10, 2022 8:11 am

Looks just like “Independence Day.”

Craig from Oz
February 9, 2022 9:33 pm

Remind me – looking up at spectacular light shows in the night sky? Was his how Day of the Triffids started?

Asking for a friend. 🙂

eyesonu
Reply to  Craig from Oz
February 10, 2022 5:22 am

I think they were Triffid seeds and a full bloom Triffid assault will begin when the weather gets a little warmer.

Joel O'Bryan
February 9, 2022 9:40 pm

Meanwhile, NASA’s premier institute for space weather studies, Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS, duhhh), plays with fake climate models and adjusts 100 year old temperaure records for political reasons.
Defund GISS.

bonbon
February 10, 2022 12:05 am

DON’T LOOK UP | Official Trailer | Netflix
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9923t78CNY

I just wonder if Musk saw this new movie. For sure Netflix will get more views!

Last edited 9 months ago by bonbon
ozspeaksup
February 10, 2022 3:12 am

dont think many astronomers would be upset at all
eeyores sats are a nusiance to the real work of skywatching i gather

Rah
February 10, 2022 8:17 am

I just want to be sure I understand the physical process. Strat warming in essence causes colder air in the Troposphere to meander further south by disrupting the flow of the polar vortex and in this case the launch vehicle and satellites had to pass through that air?

This denser cold air in the troposphere is what caused the mini satellites to fail to reach their intended orbit ?

beng135
February 11, 2022 6:50 am

Had been thinking of switching to Starlink — maybe have to rethink it. Solar activity isn’t really high now, what’ll happen when there’s some REAL solar storms….

TonyG
Reply to  beng135
February 11, 2022 7:04 am

beng135, see my other comment. No disruption for me at all during the X-class last October. Note that these satellites were not fully deployed yet – none of the active ones were affected.

If you have cable it’s not worth it. But if you have satellite already, or DSL, you should still consider it.

beng135
Reply to  TonyG
February 11, 2022 7:44 am

Thanks for the info. I have Viasat satellite, and its speed and reliability is reasonable. I’ve read some on how Starlink works — I prb’ly don’t have enough open skies for it.

TonyG
Reply to  beng135
February 11, 2022 12:42 pm

I used to have Hughes. It was decent – worked from home as a software developer – but starlink was a big step up. But you’re absolutely right about the open skies. I had to mount mine on the roof. If you’re still considering it, download the app – it has a tool to check visibility.

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