solarflare Solar storm hits Earth today, could damage electrics

A solar storm has rocked the Earth today, with the potential to cause damage and disruption to electrical systems.

A solar storm has rocked the Earth today, with the potential to cause damage and disruption to electrical systems.

 
Solar flares have been firing from the Sun all week, causing concern for some space weather forecasters, and despite signs of the storm easing down on Thursday, it is back to intense levels today.
 
Despite the threat to technology and the chants of some doomsday groups, scientists believe that these storms pose no threat to people.
 
The effect of the storm on our planet's magnetic field caused high frequency radio communications from Africa to Australia to black out for a two-hour period. Scientists have not yet identified any other damage caused by the storm, but there were significant worries about the potential for it to knock out electrical grids, destroy satellite chips, and upset GPS tracking. Some airlines also rerouted flights as a precaution.
 
solarflare Solar storm hits Earth today, could damage electrics
 
Last month the UK warned of the threat of rogue nations launching nuclear weapons into space, which would have a similarly disastrous effect upon technology. There were also warnings about the effects of solar flares, prompting calls for replacements of delicate chips on satellites and other essential technology.
 
To get an idea of the potential damage a solar storm can do, there was a significant one in 1989 which knocked out the power grid in Quebec, Canada, resulting in six million people having no power.
 
Another solar flare fired off late on Thursday and scientists are currently analysing when it will hit Earth. It is not yet clear if it will cause any damage to electrical equipment here.
 
Solar flares and storms are a natural part of the Sun's 11-year cycle, which is expected to peak next year. We will likely see stronger and more frequent activity from the Sun in the build-up to that.
 
Image Credit: NASA