Yuri Shprits argues that solar megastorm could cripple satellites

Posted on Sept. 26, 2011

 The National Geographic Daily News highlights the recent research of UCLA geophysicist Yuri Shprits who shows that, though they can withstand the average solar explosion, low-Earth orbiting (LEO) satellites might be severely damaged by a solar megastorm. 

Specifically, if the Earth's atmosphere were hit by a powerful surge of solar energy and particles, it would be flooded with high-energy electrons that would hinder the operation of these satellites.  The megastorm could reduce the lifetime of an LEO satellite by a factor of ten.