The sun erupted on Monday night with an M8.7 class flare, an earth-directed coronal mass ejection (CME), and a burst of fast moving, highly energetic protons, marking the biggest solar storm in eight years, according to NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center.

NASA has announced that the CME collided with Earth’s magnetic field on Tuesday shortly after 10am ET.

The storm classified as the largest since October 2003 can affect satellite operations and short wave radio propagation, but cannot harm humans on Earth, NASA says.

The CME’s that hit Earth’s magnetic field trigger brightly visible auroras that were reported Tuesday night.

Solar flares are our solar system’s largest explosive events which are intense bursts of radiation that come from the release of magnetic energy associated with sunspots, while CME’s are explosions in the Sun’s corona that eject solar particles with speeds ranging from 200km/s to 3,000 km/s.

But NASA scientists have previously said that such events should not be a source of concern for humans on Earth as they occur often.