Holy cow!

"On September 1–2, 1859, the largest recorded geomagnetic storm occurred. Aurorae were seen around the world, most notably over the Caribbean; also noteworthy were those over the Rocky Mountains that were so bright that their glow awoke gold miners, who began preparing breakfast because they thought it was morning. ... 'people in the northeastern U.S. could read newspaper print just from the light of the aurora.'"

For context: I saw reference to a "Carrington event" on another page and that led me to the Wikipedia article linked here.
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