A powerful solar flare
This image, taken on Oct. 28, 2003, shows the most powerful solar flare ever recorded up until this date. During this time, the sun experienced the most massive space storm in at least a century and a half.
A similar storm took place in 1859, causing what experts call the perfect space storm. “Within hours, telegraph wires in both the United States and Europe spontaneously shorted out, causing numerous fires,” NASA writes. During the 1859 solar storm, the aurora borealis or northern lights, could be seen as far south as Rome.