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The sun producing solar flares

Ejections of plasma from the sun can create geomagnetic storms when they smash into Earth’s atmosphere

Jurik Peter/Shutterstock

The largest recorded solar storm in history, the Carrington event of 1859, may have been even rarer and more extreme than we thought, according to rediscovered magnetic data gathered at the time.

In early September 1859, a massive solar flare was seen and a coronal mass ejection – a bubble of plasma and magnetic field expelled from the sun’s corona – struck…

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