We'd be terrified, if only we understood what a solar storm actually was.

The sun is pretty important to us, but it's also really warm and stuff, so we don't get too near it, or try to understand it in case it melts our brains. However, we will endeavour to improve ourselves as we attempt to explain that a huge solar flare that came off the sun on Wednesday afternoon, and it has Earth (the planet where we live) in its sights.

According to qualified scienticians, it looks to be the biggest in years, and could cause disruption to our power and communication grids. Here's one of the science folk now:

Rock. Solid. Evidence. Anyway, joking aside, CNN meteorologist Chad Myers told Mic.com that "this is a pretty strong solar storm, and we just won't know until it gets here" what kind of problems it will cause. NASA released this footage of the flare exploding off the surface of the sun, and it is both mesmerising and slightly frightening.

A solar flare is when "energy stored in 'twisted' magnetic fields (usually above sunspots) is suddenly released", according to the European Space Agency, and they can carry with them a whole lot of radiation. Mic.com quote Rhodi Lee, who notes that "the most intense flares can carry up to six times the energy being emitted by the sun at any given second", which does not sound good.

However, no need to panic too much, as NASA also released a statement to say that the radiation cannot pass through the Earth's atmosphere to cause any damage to us humanfolk on the ground, but "when intense enough — they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel", so don't depend on Google Maps too much over the course of today and Saturday, when it's due to come into contact with us.

Via Mic.com