Last Saturday the most intense solar storm since the 2000s struck the Earth, producing dazzling auroras as far south as Hawaii and playing hell with GPS and other electronically-dependent systems. There were speculations before it hit that it might be intense enough to bring down the power grid—a bullet we dodged by a whisker’s breadth.

Any sufficiently severe solar storm that crosses paths with the Earth will not just disrupt GPS, satellites, the power grid, the Internet, and all electronic devices has the potential to cook enough of the equipment we depend upon to significantly disrupt—and perhaps entirely crash—technological civilization as we know it. While this fact is well-known in tech and astronomical circles, the recent storms have created an opportunity for the broader public to learn about the and dangers of living life around an active G-type star, as well as the delights (such as last weekend’s auroras).

But the sun isn’t done threatening civilization yet.

Another gargantuan solar flare, much bigger than the one that hit us on Saturday—and stronger than any detected solar explosion in the past two decades—has just occurred on the sun. The flare that struck the earth over the weekend was magnitude X2.2. The latest one is an X8.7, enough that if the energy released strikes the earth it could have devastating effects. It is the largest event yet recorded in the current 11-year solar flare cycle. However, NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) scientist Bryan Bashar said that, when all the data is in, the flare turns out to have been even stronger.

Fortunately, astronomers currently estimate that the storm erupted from a part of the sun that was rotating away from us, so at worst Earth will only brush the edge of the chaotic energy cloud. The Space Weather Center at NOAA predicts that the storm will lead, at worst, to a temporary disruption of radio signals. They do not expect that we will be treated to another showing of the Northern Lights.