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Solar flares may disrupt GPS services and communications satellites

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Ian Brockwell's picture

A storm on the Sun produced at least three solar flares, one of which was the most powerful recorded in four years. 

The flares hurled billions of tonnes of material towards the Earth, which could produce a spectacular aurora borealis. Displays of the northern lights had already been seen further south than usual, in Northern Ireland and elsewhere in the UK. 

A warning was issued that the flares could disrupt GPS services and communicationsSolar flares satellites for a day or two. There are reports that Tuesday’s flare had already caused atmospheric disturbances that jammed radio communications in southern parts of China. 

A coronal mass ejection 22 years ago knocked out the power grid in Quebec, tripping transformers and leaving six million people without power. 

As many will know, Solar activity has been relatively quiet for some years, but as the Sun nears the peak of its activity in the Solar Max in 2013, these flares are expected to increase and become more intense. 

Whilst I was unaware of these solar flares until today, I had been suffering with an unusual headache for the last 48 hours (similar to that caused by blood pressure). According to some reports, migraine sufferers might be more affected when a powerful solar flare occurs.

Solar System Panoramic Chart

Perfect poster of the solar system for the classroom or bedroom!

As the sun affects the amount of magnetism here on Earth, when the sun flares, magnetism increases. Many who suffer migraine headaches say their personal journals prove that migraine headaches are triggered by solar flares. 

It would be interesting to hear from readers whether they have suffered with headaches in the last couple of days, or noticed any other unusual feelings.

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