Short Wave

When The Sun Erupts

Feb. 21, 2024

We are at the height of the Sun's activity in its eleven year cycle, known to astronomers as the solar maximum. This means that over the next several months there's going to be a lot of solar activity. It's got us thinking back to 1859. That's when astronomer Richard Carrington was studying the Sun when he witnessed the most intense geomagnetic storm recorded in history. The storm, triggered by a giant solar flare, sent brilliant auroral displays across the globe causing electrical sparking and fires in telegraph stations. This encore episode, Regina talks to solar physicist Dr. Samaiyah Farid about what's now known as the Carrington event and about what may happen the next time a massive solar storm hits Earth.

Want to hear us cover other parts of the solar system? Email the show at [email protected] to let us know!

Learn more about sponsor message choices:

NPR Privacy Policy neither hosts nor alters podcast files. All content © its respective owners.