Ion thunderstorms!

ESA–ATG medialab (GFZ annotated)

Satellite engineers have been puzzling over why GPS navigation systems on low-orbiting satellites like ESA’s Swarm sometimes black out when they fly over the equator between Africa and South America. Thanks to Swarm, it appears ‘thunderstorms’ in the ionosphere are to blame.

Launched in 2013, the Swarm trio is measuring and untangling the different magnetic fields that stem from Earth’s core, mantle, crust, oceans, ionosphere and magnetosphere – an undertaking of at least four years. … (ESA)

ESA–ATG medialab (GFZ annotated)

ESA–ATG medialab (GFZ annotated)

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