I have long asserted the Sun is the single biggest factor in climate change.

In fact, I might be proved right sooner than I expected. A major solar storm has the potential to impact electrical grids, communication devices, and other conveniences of modern living.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says a coronal hole has opened on the Sun, leading to a stream of solar particles hurtling towards Earth.

According to SpaceWeatherLive: “The magnetic field of a coronal hole is different than the rest of the Sun. Instead of returning to the surface, these magnetic field lines stay open and stretch out into space.”

As a result, Earth is expected to be hit by a swarm of particles in the coming days which, on a better note, could cause the Northern Lights to be visible.

Mauro Messerotti, from the University of Trieste the National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF) warned that the hole “extends for about 30 per cent of the disk of the sun” and that the structure “may persist for more than a month because these holes sometimes last for more than one full rotation of the sun, which lasts 28 days.”

While humans are protected from the radiation by the atmosphere, the rays can heat the outer atmosphere, causing it to expand which can affect satellites in orbit. The result could lead to a lack of GPS navigation, mobile phone signal and satellite TV. And while unlikely, higher currents in the Earth’s magnetic field could blow out electrical transformers and power stations leading to a temporary loss of electricity in a region.

However, given that the effect is anticipated to last through most of the final phase of the presidential election, this phenomenon’s impact on communications could be a blessing in disguise.