Carrington Event (1859)


A physicist in New Haven
observed an irregular mass

of violet swirls and emerald-tinted streamers
evolving in the west.


In Mississippi, a radiant
crimson column shot up

and billowed, like moss in a storm, or a military banner,
over the houses and cabins.


As far south as Havana,
the heavens seemed to reflect

a conflagration leveling
the other half of the island.


Parisian magnetometers
were violently deflected.

Throughout the Russian Empire,
the needles went off-scale.


Back at the chemical telegraph office
in Massachusetts, business was interrupted.

An iron stylus sparked. Some treated papers
caught on fire, producing considerable smoke.


A Rear Admiral sailing
the Gulf of Guinea logged

an “angry glow” from 2 a.m.
until the solar dawn.