The 1859 Carrington Event was a magnificently powerful solar storm. It released the largest known solar flare, which was observed and recorded by Richard C. Carrington. Since August 28th, the sun was fashioning an unusual number of sunspots and solar flares. Carrington observed the largest flare just before the noon of September 1st.
The flare sent a gust of solar wind directly towards Earth. And it was fast one; reaching our planet in 17 hours rather than three or four days (like most solar winds). Naturally, it led to a series of very unearthly events:
• Aurorae (plural of aurora) were seen all around the world, even over the Caribbean! Those over the Rocky Mountain were so bright that they awoke gold miners, who began preparing morning because they thought it was morning.
• Some telegraphs over Europe and North America failed; their pylons threw sparks and paper spontaneously caught fire. Other telegraphs however continued working even though they had become disconnected from their power supplies.
This storm was a reminder of the vast and powerful universe that surrounds our little blue rock. Remember, all this havoc and magnificence was caused by a tiny sun fart.