HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The sun emitted what NASA called a “significant” solar flare last week.

According to a blog post by NASA, the flare is classified as an “X-Class flare,” which is the most intense category of solar flares.

Solar flares are powerful bursts of energy. They are capable of “impacting radio communications, electric power grids, navigation signals, and pose risks to spacecraft and astronauts,” NASA stated.


Images of the solar flare were captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.

In 1859, the most intense geomagnetic storm in history occurred in an event known as the Carrington Event. According to a study published in Advances in Space Research, astronomers Richard Carrington and Richard Hodgson observed a white light flare on the sun shortly before the storm occurred.

Along with an intense Auroral displays, over 120,000 miles of telegraph lines were affected and unusable for eight hours or more.

In March of 1989, a solar flare and accompanying coronal mass ejections caused the entire power grid in Quebec, Canada to lose power. The event would later be referred to as “the day the sun brought darkness.”