1. National

Solar superstorm warning

A once-in-a-century "solar superstorm" could hit the earth in the near future, causing black-outs, and a loss in satellite communications, scientists have warned.

View all 6 updates ›

'Solar-superstorm': What would happen?

  • One in ten orbiting satellites could be knocked out for days during a superstorm event
  • Any that keep orbiting, could 'age', meaning they would need to be replaced
  • GPS signals would be interrupted one to three days after the storm hit as satellite transmissions to the ground are disrupted
  • Navigating officers in aircraft and ships would temporarily have to revert to old-fashioned "dead reckoning"
  • Energetic particles from the blast could interfere with aircraft electronics
  • A superstorm could end large induced currents through the electricity grid network, potentially causing blackouts
  • For passengers on high flying aircraft, a superstorm would deliver a radiation dose equivalent to three CT scans, although below harmful levels, astronauts would be at risk

More top news