Skip to comments.Sun eruption may have spawned zombie satellite
Posted on 07/14/2010 9:16:53 PM PDT by BenLurkin
Scientists have identified a massive eruption from the sun in April that reached all the way to Earth and may be responsible for knocking out a satellite, creating a so-called "zombie satellite."
The huge explosion of plasma and magnetic energy, called as a coronal mass ejection, occurred on April 3 and was observed by NASA's sun-watching STEREO spacecraft, according to the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. The laboratory released new images of the solar storm last week.
The solar storm appears to have disabled the Intelsat communications satellite Galaxy 15, NRL officials said. Galaxy 15 lost contact with its ground controllers on April 5 and has been drifting around Earth ever since.
Solar storms are known to put satellites at risk. The charged particles in a storm can short out electrical equipment.
The observations suggest the coronal mass ejection flung material away from the sun at a phenomenal 1,000 kilometers per second. The solar eruption was moving at 2.2 million mph while it was still close to the sun on April 3. It then slowed down to about 1.5 million mph when it reached Earth on April 5.
There is an odd twist to the Galaxy 15 satellite failure. While the satellite has stopped communicating with its ground control center, its C-band telecommunications payload (which provided broadcast services to customers) is stuck on, earning it the " zombie satellite " nickname.
" Coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, are powerful eruptions of plasma and magnetic energy from the sun's outer atmosphere, or corona," Naval Research Laboratory officials wrote in the July 7 statement. "When these sudden outbursts are directed toward Earth, they can have both breathtakingly beautiful and potentially damaging effects."
(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...
Ping! This type of scenario was on the SHTF Plan blog, and other sites as being a situation with EMP like effects, but not EMP, but a reason to prepare even if we aren’t hit by man made forces.
Algore needs to get on this zombie thing right away, before the Earth teeters on the brink of major calamity. Escalade and Dodge Ram are prime suspects .....
Algore = “zombie satellite”
Screw that, you can get FREE SATELLITE TV. It’s STUCK ON.
When’s the next CME ? I need the Playboy Channel.
That's what I've always said!
Do you realize what you just said?
Eerie isn't it?
Which part, that nature could give us her own problems in the near future, or that man almost certainly will?...
We’re having a go either way, IMHO.
Nicholas Cage, call your office...
Usually, when something goes wrong with a spacecraft, we use radio signals from it to diagnose the problem and send commands to fix it. If the communications system goes out, we are out a multi-million dollar spacecraft. What we need is a cost effective way to reach out and repair them. This, and cheap access to orbit, will be the beginnings of a new space age.
Ow. “Intelsat communications satellite Galaxy 15”. That’s probably expensive. Thanks BenLurkin.