Elon Musk Says SpaceX Satellites Impacted By Ongoing Solar Storm: '…But Holding Up So Far'

The ongoing solar storm hitting Earth and expected to disrupt communication over the weekend have not spared SpaceX satellites.

What Happened: “SpaceX satellites are feeling this solar storm,” company CEO Elon Musk wrote on X. “It’s big.”

SpaceX has nearly 6000 Starlink satellites in orbit, according to Astronomer Jonathan McDowell who tracks them. While the satellites are under a lot of pressure, they are holding up so far, Musk said, while adding that the storm is the “biggest in a long time.”

Why It Matters: The sun has produced moderate to strong solar flares since Wednesday. Solar material eruptions that accompany these flares, called coronal mass ejections (CMEs), cause geomagnetic storms when they reach Earth’s surface. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a warning of a geomagnetic storm for Friday evening and said that storm conditions may last through the weekend.

The solar storm hitting Earth could produce displays of aurora in the U.S. as far south as Northern California and also pose the risk of disrupting power and communications due to their impact on infrastructure in near-Earth orbit and Earth’s surface, the NOAA said, while adding that it has already warned these system operators to take protective actions.

“This is an unusual and potentially historic event,” NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center Director Clinton Wallace said about the storm.  

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Read More: Tesla Analyst Sees Annual Shareholder Meeting As Key To Determining Elon Musk-Led Company’s Future Strategy

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