‘Solar flare’ seen above Wales shortly before widespread power cuts – November 2, 2021

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Some witnesses captured footage of an unusual flash of light above south Wales on Sunday evening

A huge flash of light was seen above areas of south Wales last night as the country was hit by widespread power outages.

Dash cam footage captured an intense flash of blue light over parts of Newport shortly after 6pm on Sunday evening.

The incredible sight left people wondering if it had been the result of fireworks being set off on Halloween, or if it was due to a solar flare.

The flash was followed by power outages in parts of Cardiff, Newport, Port Talbot, Carmarthenshire and across south Wales and south west England.

Some people said their lights just flickered on and off but others reported longer outages with street lights remaining down for a time.

A spokesperson for Western Power said the reason behind the outage on Sunday was due to “an issue with the National Grid and they are investigating”.

Was the flash a solar flare or fireworks?

The reason for the bright flash across Newport is not entirely clear, but many have speculated that it might have been caused by a solar flare.

Earlier this week space experts warned of a powerful sun storm, known as an X1-class solar flare. These are intense types of solar flares, which are powerful bursts of radiation coming from the sun. These cannot pass through the earth’s atmosphere and affect humans, but occasionally they are intense enough to “trigger radio blackouts around the whole world”, according to the European Space Agency. They can also lead to some stunning sky displays in parts of the world.

Nasa has said solar flares can cause intense flashes which they said may have been visible during Halloween. It was reported that people as far away as Scotland were able to see the northern lights over the weekend, another feature of the solar flare previously mentioned.

While the reason for the outage in the UK has not yet been confirmed, experts say solar flares can cause issues for power grids as they affect the earth’s magnetic field. However, National Grid does not indicate that this was the case over the weekend, simply saying its outage was down to bad weather.

A National Grid spokesperson said: “Severe weather caused minor damage to our Whitson substation in south Wales yesterday evening. No domestic power supplies were directly affected and the National Grid network is operating as normal with no ongoing issues.”

By cindyloucbp

Cynthia is the typical Pisces! Her left brain activities include scientific activities in the hospital laboratory as a director. Her right-brain activites show as a painter, photographer and musician. She is known as the scientist who sings!

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