As Sun moves into the peak of its 11-year activity cycle, powerful solar flares erupted, triggering massive magnetic storms that could disrupt communication systems in Earth.

The solar eruption will also cause spectacular auroras, which will be visible in northern America.

Here are some details about northern lights:

A solar flare is the phenomenon of great streams of charged particles, protons and electrons, blowing out towards Earth in great speeds. Auroras happen when these particles hit Earth's atmosphere and collide with atoms of gases in the atmosphere, a process that creates ions that emit energy in the form of light of various colors as they regain the lost electrons.

The electrified particles travelling from Sun to Earth are affected by Earth's magnetic field and, instead of penetrating any part of the atmosphere, they flow toward the regions of the north and south magnetic poles where the night sky glows eternally with solar overcharge, according to

The aurora at the northern magnetic pole is called aurora borealis or northern lights, while the natural light display at the southern pole is called aurora australis, or "southern lights.

Green is a dominant color in the aurora lights, mainly because auroras are caused by the ionization of atomic oxygen. Red streaks are also common, caused by the ionization of molecular oxygen and nitrogen.

Aurora displays, which are seen as arcs of light extending hundreds of miles on the horizon, are most frequent at times of immense sunspot activity. Scientists say Earth will witness a peak of sunspots activity around 2013.

As the Sun enters a phase of intense activity, scientists are bracing for havoc on Earth. "We now know how powerful space weather can be and how events that begin on the surface of the Sun can end up wreaking havoc here on Earth," said Tom Bogdan, director of Space Weather Prediction Center.