12/04/2013 07:59 BST | Updated 12/06/2013 06:12 BST

Solar Flares Don't Cause Earthquakes

Good news - the Sun doesn't cause earthquakes.

That might seem obvious, but it's been suggested for a while, although not with much evidence, that earthquakes can be strengthened or even triggered by solar flares or other powerful activity on the Sun.

But despite the various attempts to show otherwise, there remain those dedicated to the theory.

Fortunately, a new study appears to have put that to rest.

Researchers Dr Jeffrey Love (US Geological Society) and Dr Jeremy Thomas (Northwest Research Associates) looked at the history of earthquakes around the world, and tried to find a correlation with instances of abnormally large solar flares, coronal mass ejections and other bouts of radiation.

The result?

"Across a range of earthquake magnitude thresholds, we find no consistent and statistically significant distributional differences. We also introduce time lags between the solar-terrestrial variables and the number of earthquakes, but again no statistically significant distributional difference is found."

According to the team, there was no direct correlation in the data.

So while solar flares can have an impact on Earth - including radio blackouts, problems with infrastructure and possibly even a marginal rise in the risk of cancer - earthquakes aren't in that list.

"It's natural for scientists to want to see relationships between things," said Love, according to Universe Today. "Of course, that doesn't mean that a relationship actually exists!"