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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atmospheric Science
- Space and Planetary Science