Solar flare 2021: NASA warns solar storm could cause connectivity problems in Sheffield this Halloween

A huge solar flare that has erupted from the Sun may reach here in time to disrupt our communications systems and possibly even cause power cuts.

Saturday, 30th October 2021, 3:37 pm

Space agency NASA spotted the solar flare, which creates a huge burst of radiation, on Thursday. It sent radiation speeding towards Earth’s magnetic field at 3.3 million mph.

The NASA website reported: “Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth’s atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however — when intense enough — they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.”

This flare is classified as an X1-class flare, part of the most powerful group but an X-1 is the smallest.

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A NASA image showing a solar flare heading toward Earth - another is set to hit here this weekend, possibly causing communications disruption and power outages

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It caused a radio blackout in South America.

Dr Tamitha Skov, a space weather physicist, said on Twitter: "A direct hit for Halloween! The solar storm launched during the X-flare today is indeed Earth-directed!

"NASA predictions confirm impact by early October 31.”