On Tuesday, two giant solar flares erupted from the surface of the sun. The waves of energy they produced can disrupt "utility grids, airline flights and satellite systems" according to this report from CBS News, which features some amazing footage of the flares themselves. The disturbances are set to begin on Thursday morning and continue through Friday.
The flares are the largest seen since December of 2006, and were associated with what are known as coronal mass ejections, plumes of energy and charged particles that shoot out of the sun. The events send waves of electromagnetic radiation out into space, which in turn trigger geomagnetic storms here on earth.
Watch the video, embedded via CBS, below: