The Carrington Event: History’s greatest solar storm

The Carrington Event was a large solar storm that took place at the beginning of September 1859, just a few months before the solar maximum of 1860. In August, 1859, astronomers around the world watched with fascination as the number of sunspots grew. Among them was Richard Carrington in Redhill, Surrey, U.K.

Fortunately for life on Earth, the sun is remarkably constant in the heat and light it radiates. However, it can also blast matter out into space, though for most of human history these ejections have gone unnoticed.

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