“Actually, it doesn’t take a strong solar storm to cause problems. In Feb. 2022, a minor geomagnetic storm dumped enough heat into the thermosphere that 38 newly launched Starlink satellites fell out of the sky. SpaceX has since started launching their Starlinks to higher initial altitudes to avoid the drag.6/3/23 Spaceweather NOAA
If current trends continue, the thermosphere will warm even more in 2023 and 2024. This is a matter of concern because Earth’s population of active satellites has tripled since SpaceX started launching Starlinks in 2019. The growing constellation of 4100 Starlinks now provides internet service to more than a million customers. An extreme geomagnetic storm like the Halloween Storms of 2003 could shift the positions of these satellites by many 10s of kilometers, increasing the risk of collisions and causing some of the lowest ones to de-orbit.
Stay tuned as the warming continues.”