A solar flare was visible across the south of Wales just after 6pm this evening, which was followed by a brief power cut that affected most of the area.

The National had reported the solar flare on Friday, with a prediction of a possible Aurora Borealis as a result. 

Many shared what they had witnessed with our sister title, The South Wales Argus, on Twitter. 

Abbz ( @tinsytee) captured the solar flare on her dashcam when she was driving home from Newport.

What is a solar flare?

The European Space Agency (ESA) said: "A solar flare is a tremendous explosion on the Sun that happens when energy stored in 'twisted' magnetic fields (usually above sunspots) is suddenly released.

In a matter of just a few minutes they heat material to many millions of degrees and produce a burst of radiation across the electromagnetic spectrum, including from radio waves to x-rays and gamma rays.

Scientists classify solar flares according to their brightness in the x-ray wavelengths. There are three categories: X-class flares are big; they are major events that can trigger radio blackouts around the whole world and long-lasting radiation storms in the upper atmosphere.

The National Wales: Small solar flares help shed light on the Sun’s mysterious heating process. An international team of scientists is looking at data from the Solar Orbiter. Photo: PASmall solar flares help shed light on the Sun’s mysterious heating process. An international team of scientists is looking at data from the Solar Orbiter. Photo: PA

M-class flares are medium-sized; they generally cause brief radio blackouts that affect Earth's polar regions. Minor radiation storms sometimes follow an M-class flare.

Compared to X- and M-class events, C-class flares are small with few noticeable consequences here on Earth."

In spite of our predictions however, it's unlikely that we'll be able to witness the Aurora Borealis unless on high ground according to the Met Office: "The large coronal mass ejection that left the sun on the 28th was much slower and weaker than expected. Further weak enhancements to the auoral oval are possible this coming night (31st) but an easing trend is probable, making sightings only possible across high latitudes. Geomagnetic activity is expected to remain largely Low on the 1st and 2nd, perhaps with an increase on the 3rd due to the arrival of coronal hole 16."

​Additional reporting by Elizabeth Birt.

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