Solar cycle peaking in 2000; possible effects on satellite orbits

Allen Thomson (thomsona@flash.net)
Thu, 14 Oct 1999 12:39:35 -0500

>Solar Cycle Update - Updated predictions from NASA scientists place the
>solar maximum in mid-2000. As activity on the Sun begins to increase
>toward this broad maximum, we can expect more auroral displays, radio
>disruptions and power fluctuations. FULL STORY:
>http://science.nasa.gov/newhome/headlines/ast14oct99_1.htm

The effects of peaks in past solar cycles have led to quite noticeable
increases in the drag on various satellites, notably Skylab and Salyut 7.
Doubtless this will also happen in the months ahead and may have some
consequences for Mir and possibly even ISS, not to mention the ordinary run
of LEO satellites.

For those interested in studying such effects, the TLE archives at
http://hea-www.harvard.edu/QEDT/jcm/space/elements/sats/
provide some useful baseline data.


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