Elon Musk’s Starlink Satellites could deplete ozone layer, study shows

Elon Musk's Starlink Satellites could deplete ozone layer

Elon Musk’s Starlink Satellites could deplete ozone layer, study shows

A new study shows the rapid expansion of internet satellite networks, such as Elon Musk’s Starlink Satellites could deplete the ozone layer. Starlink Satellites are comprised of thousands of satellites that orbit a planet close to Earth at about 550 km in the atmosphere.

Researchers from the University of South California have conducted this research study. This study has brought attention to worries about how the increasing number of low-Earth orbit satellites can affect the environment.

It examined data from 2016 to 2022 and found that the re-entry of satellites like those in the Starlink network has significantly boosted the amount of aluminum oxide in the atmosphere.

Annual launch plan of Starlink Satellites by Elon Musk could deplete the ozone layer

These satellites are made to last only five years or less, but they contain large amounts of aluminum during that time. So, they turn into aluminum oxide when they reenter the Earth’s atmosphere.

The researchers warned that aluminum oxide can cause chemical reactions that deplete the ozone layer. The aluminum oxide may persist for decades when the particles settle.

The study author Joseph Wang stated people have only recently started to think this might become a significant problem. Satellite burn-up discharged over 18.7 tonnes of aluminum oxide nanoparticles into the atmosphere in 2022 alone.

Satellites in space produce aluminum oxide which may deplete the ozone layer

Click here to read the updates on Tonga volcanic eruption 2022 affecting the weather in Australia

However, this volume might rise to 397 tonnes annually with plans to launch thousands more Starlink satellites by Elon Musk. It shows a major risk of significant ozone depletion.

Following this, Elon Musk’s Starlink Satellites could deplete the ozone layer with its annual launch plan. Elon Musk has launched hundreds of satellites into low-Earth orbit; while creating a dense network since 2019.

The new plan of Elon to launch abundant Starlink satellites comes to address the increasing demand for worldwide internet connectivity. Whereas previous satellites operated at higher altitudes in space, losing their speed.

However, a massive satellite launch in space brings significant environmental side effects owing to ozone layer depletion. It might result in certain skin cancers, eye infections, and immune deficiency disorders. Geophysical Research Letters journal has published this research study.

Read More:

Share this content:

Post Comment