Solar flare could trigger radio blackout on Wednesday

Power surges could cause high frequency communication systems to fail and malfunctioning satellites may trigger global positioning system (GPS) errors when a “significant” solar flare hits the earth on Wednesday , according to the United States National Weather Service’s Space Weather Prediction Centre.

The solar flare which occurred on Saturday, may result in what the centre has called a “strong solar flare radio blackout event.”

“Satellite navigation (GPS) errors increases. HF (high frequency radio communication is blocked. And electric power lines receive unwanted current,” are among the potential things that could be triggered by the event the centre said in a post on its web site today.

The National Aeronautics and Space Agency categorized the flare as an X-1 class eruption (the 1 stands for the lowest intensity version in an X-class flare). X-class solar flares are considered the most intense type of eruptions.

The earth’s atmosphere protects humans from the effects of solar flares, but flares can disrupt communication systems.

Nestor E. Arellano
Nestor E. Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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