Solar storm unlikely to cause communications problems -

Updates to this story

Warnings that a solar flare could disrupt our communications have been denied by a meteorological expert who has claimed that there is "no evidence" this could happen.

No doubt his comments will come as a blow to those hoping to use the excuse of "I had no signal", for forgetting to call and text their loved ones, or dodging those bunny boilers, this Valentine's Day.

The reassurance from the spaceman follow reports that a Japanese satellite found two huge holes in the Sun's outer atmosphere, otherwise known as the solar corona. Boffins viewing the images sent down from the satellite, said that the holes were blasting solar material into space.

The problem, they said, was that the holes allowed gas to escape into space through the sun's red hot outer atmosphere where they then became solar wind and possibly result in a solar storm. They said that while this wouldn't affect the earth, the solar storm could cause a disruption in communications, something that was witnessed in 1859, when similar solar flares messed around with communications and gave operators electric shocks. Telegraph poles were affected.

According to our solar expert,  these disruptions also affect radio communication. However he said the risk of losing all communication was very unlikely.

"Solar flares are something that happen every so often and nothing really for us to worry about. They don't pose a threat to earth, but they could cause solar winds, which stream from the holes," he told TechEye

"These winds could hit earth at an average speed of 400 kilometres per second, cause solar storms and in turn disrupt our communications scape. This includes mobile phones, the internet and of course IT networks. If the worse came to the worse, and there's no evidence that it will, then we could be without communications for at least two weeks until everything. quite literally, blows over."

NASA also doesn't seem to be panicking claiming: "The holes are relatively cool in temperature as compared to the active regions nearby.

Maybe the old "I left my phone on the bus" will be a better excuse. The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona will remain unaffected, possibly unfortunately.