The solar particles blown out of the sun can prompt geomagnetic storms on Earth, which can disrupt GPS signals, radio communications and power grids.
However, geomagnetic storms also have harmless effects, beautiful effects — they can supercharge the northern and southern lights.
Night sky photographer Mike Taylor captured green and purple northern lights above Unity Pond in central Maine Friday night (Sept. 12). "No color saturation needed; Mother Nature provided a brilliant display of lights," Taylor said in an email. [See the amazing aurora photos after the double solar storms]
Chad Blakley, who captured photos of the northern lights over Sweden's Lapland region, wrote: "It is aurora season in Sweden so you know I am a happy man!"
In a description of a time-lapse video of the northern lights, Blakley said the display "will never be forgotten by the people that were lucky enough to witness the event."
Gannon, Megan, ed. "Spectacular Auroras from Solar Storms Wow Stargazers (Photos,
Video)." Space.com. N.p., 15 Sept. 2014. Web. 16 Sept. 2014.