A major solar flare was unleashed Tuesday evening at around 940 PM EST. This is an X class solar flare and considered a major event that can trigger planet-wide radio blackouts and long-lasting radiation storms. NOAA’s satellite imagery has been impacted causing a degradation of quality and a complete dropout of imagery at times.
You can clearly see the spike in activity in this proton flux monitor chart.
Based on the energy and number of solar protons streaming past Earth, NOAA ranks the storm as category S2: satellites may experience some glitches and reboots, but astronauts are in no danger.
Another result of this solar storm is the possibility of auroras, especially on December 14 or 15.
More information can be found at NOAA’s Space Environment Center http://www.sel.noaa.gov/index.html