In 1859 people across the country were roused in the middle of the night by a light so bright you could read by it. This event, caused by a series of large solar eruptions, became known as the Carrington Event.
While the ribbons that lit up the sky that September night must have been beautiful, they wrecked havoc on communication wires and telegraph systems. If the same thing happened today, experts say it would be a catastrophe.
Vermont Edition spoke to Dr. Carrie Black, a scientist at the Space Weather Laboratory at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, about space weather and the monitoring of solar activity.
Stowe is hosting the 2015 SHINE Conference, an annual summit for scientists studying the sun, solar winds and other interplanetary ties.