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What will happen when the solar storm strikes earth?

8 March 2012 Last updated at 05:32 GMT

The Earth is currently being battered by a storm of charged particles from the Sun, which could disrupt power grids, satellite navigation and plane routes.

The storm was triggered by a pair of solar flares - the largest of their kind - earlier this week.

The effects will be most intense in polar regions, and aircraft may be advised to change their routings to avoid these areas.

Paul Cally, a professor of solar physics at Monash University in Australia, explains why.