Posted by BC on May 7th, 2008
Super-high-energy solar flares have been documented since 1859, when Richard Carrington, solar observer, saw a super-bright effect on the Sun. Carrington was documenting sunspots when he witnessed a super bright white light flare; a supercharged energy outburst that is naked-eye visible. We now call these outbursts as the Carrington Effect.
Super-high-energy solar flares can be extremely dangerous to Earth-orbiting satellites, astronauts, and transport vehicles using GPS navigation devices. The flares have been known to knock out satellite communication, ground-based communication, and electric grids. Several of the super flares have been recorded since Carrington noted the one in 1859, but they are still considered quite rare, and they occur during solar maximum.
The one spectacular phenomenon that occurs as a side product of a super flare is a super auroral storm.
More information can be found at the NASA site.