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Aurora borealis interferes with satnav devices

Northern Lights interfere with GPS - and it's getting worse

According to research the Northern Lights can interfere with signals from global positioning (GPS) satellites.

A study by the University of Bath's department of electrical engineering suggests that the intense electrical activity created in the atmosphere by the Northern Lights decreases the accuracy of GPS. As a consequence, your satnav could send people to the wrong place.

The University of Bath study looked at three satnav systems in Norway. Scientists measured the signal strength from satellites before, during and after a Northern Lights - or aurora borealis - display.

The signal faded during aurora borealis activity. This made the satnavs struggle to lock on to the satellites.

According to scientists involved in the study, we can expect satnavs to become less accurate over the next few weeks as aurora borealis events increase.

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