"This massive CME released about 1022 kJ of energy - the equivalent to 10 billion Hiroshima bombs exploding at the same time - and hurled around a trillion kilos of charged particles towards the Earth at speeds of up to 3000 km/s. However, its impact on the human population was relatively benign as our electronic infrastructure at the time amounted to no more than about 124,000 miles (200,000 km) of telegraph lines.
Mr Dale makes it clear in the latest issue of Physics World that these types of events are not just a threat, but inevitable.
Nasa scientists have predicted that the Earth is in the path of a Carrington-level event every 150 years on average."
Read more: From blackouts to transport chaos: Solar superstorms pose a ‘catastrophic’ threat to life on Earth, warns scientist