SpaceX suffered the loss of about 40 Starlink satellites due to a geomagnetic storm. Now, a team of astronomers from Puerto Rico has published a video showing how one of these devices disintegrates in the sky.
The event was recorded by a camera from the municipality of Añasco, which is part of a network operated by the Caribbean Astronomy Society (SAC).
According to expert Marco Langbroek, the video “shows two objects appearing a minute apart, both re-entering and fragmenting.”
The professional believes that the two objects could belong to a single object that was divided, or they could correspond to two separate objects that were close in the same orbital plane.
According to SpaceX, poor weather conditions caused the “atmosphere to warm and increase atmospheric density at our low deployment altitudes.”
This phenomenon would have prevented the satellites from ascending to their respective orbits. The company explains that 40 of the 49 satellites launched from the Kennedy Space Center on February 3, “will re-enter or have already re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere.” All of them will disintegrate on the way, added the company.
The disintegration event surprised the scientific community of Puerto Rico.
“It is one of the most striking and impressive disintegration sightings observed from Puerto Rico. I will never be able to forget this event”, recognized Eddie Irizarry, SAC science communicator.
Experts anticipate that it is very likely that similar events of disintegrating satellites will be seen in the sky in the coming days.