In 1859, a powerful solar storm burned telegraph wires all across Europe and America and electrified the skies. As the sun awakens from a period of dormancy, it's worth remembering that a storm of that magnitude today could bring modernity to a sudden halt.
The Great Solar Storm of 1859 is now known in history as 'the Carrington flare' that burned telegraph wires all across Europe and America lighting the skies in many parts to the extent that miners awoke to start their day with breakfast in the middle of night. It was the largest single solar eruption from a sunspot in recorded solar observation history, described in Stuart Clark's book, The Sun Kings.
Within twenty-four hours, the Aurora Borealis electrified the skies glowing in red, green, and purple colors so bright that newspaper print appeared as if it were daylight in numerous locations throughout North America as far south as Cuba but normally keep to the cold Arctic Polar Regions. The lights resulted from the electromagnetic energy fields created by the solar wind plasma colliding with the Earth's upper magnetosphere on a significant larger planetary scale, as told in Clark's 189-page book published in 2007.