Time lapse image of the solar flare as seen by Nasa's Solar Dynamics Observatory
By Paul Rincon
Scientists around the world will be watching closely as three eruptions from the Sun reach the Earth over Thursday and Friday.
These "coronal mass ejections" will slam into the Earth's magnetic shield.
The waves of charged solar particles are the result of three solar flares directed at Earth in recent days, including the most powerful since 2006.
The biggest flares can disrupt technology, including power grids, communications systems and satellites.
The northern lights (Aurora Borealis) may also be visible further south than is normally the case - including from northern parts of the UK.
"Our current view is that the effect of the solar flare is likely to reach Earth later today (Thursday GMT), possibly tomorrow morning," said Alan Thomson, head of geomagnetism at the British Geological Survey (BGS).
He told BBC News: "In the scientific community, there's a feeling that it's not as intense as we first thought it might be. But it's possible still that it could be a large enough event for us to see the northern lights in the UK."
However, weather forecasts suggested cloudy conditions could mar views of any aurorae.
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