Weatherwatch: the havoc caused by solar storms

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Panorama of a city business district with office buildings and skyscrapers and superimposed data, charts and diagrams related to stock market, currency exchange and global finance. Blue line graphs with numbers and exchange rates, candlestick charts and financial figures fill the image with a glowing light. Sunset light.

UK group has put forward proposals for mitigating effects of any future solar storm

In May 1921, a giant sunspot erupted, ejecting masses of solar material towards the Earth. This solar storm produced auroras visible all the way to the equator, and a rash of fires.

A telegraph exchange in Sweden was the first to burst into flames, followed by a control tower near New York’s Grand Central Station. Long stretches of telegraph wire were acting as aerials; the resulting induced currents were strong enough to blow fuses and cause overheating, sometimes resulting in fires.

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