April 15, 2024

The sun is currently ascending to reach the peak of its 11-year cycle of activity. In the past few days, powerful solar flares have sent a stream of particles toward Earth that will produce spectacular auroras in both hemispheres. But these kinds of geomagnetic storms can also have less attractive consequences. Madeleine Finlay talks to Dr Lisa Upton, a solar scientist at the South West Research Institute, about how the mysterious inner workings of the sun create space weather, how solar events can significantly disrupt Earth’s infrastructure, and whether we are prepared for the worst-case scenario.

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