'Solar-superstorm' could occur every one to 200 years

The last known large scale 'solar-superstorm' occurred in 1859, but is likely to occur every one to 200 years.

In the Carrington event, sparks were sent flying from telegraph pylons, causing fires, as energetic currents from the blast hit the earth.

Northern Lights display outside Akureyri, Iceland Credit: Katja Ogrin/EMPICS Entertainment

Night skies were lit up by aurora displays, following a large solar flare.

At that time, there were no satellites in orbit or sensitive microchips in the path of the particles.

If an event of this scale were to hit today, the electricity grid could be affected, along with aircraft and navigation systems.

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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.