1859 saw the largest solar flare in recorded history. If it happens again, it would destroy any satellite in its path
Known as the Carrington Super Flare, it was so bright that even though it was the middle of the night, miners awoke because they thought it was morning. It was so powerful that if it happened today, it would destroy every satellite orbiting the planet in view of the sun (except of course the moon and International Space Station).
The Baltimore American and Commercial Advertiser described the whole event. It can be read below. “Those who happened to be out late on Thursday night had an opportunity of witnessing another magnificent display of the aurora lights. The phenomenon was very similar to the display on Sunday night, though at times the light was, if possible, more brilliant, and the prismatic hues more varied and gorgeous.
The light appeared to cover the whole firmament, apparently like a luminous cloud, through which the stars of the larger magnitude indistinctly shone. The light was greater than that of the moon at its full, but had an indescribable softness and delicacy that seemed to envelop everything upon which it rested. Between 12 and 1 o'clock, when the display was at its full brilliancy, the quiet streets of the city resting under this strange light, presented a beautiful as well as singular appearance."