An aurora occurs when a solar wind is so massive that the energy from the sun is drawn into the Earth's magnetic field. When these charged particles, mostly the electrons, interact with the gases in our atmosphere, they give off light.
The airplane flights that do the grunt work of your trip, that allow you to get from place to place, are a sort of forgettable magic that, if you are like me, you do not record in your diary or photograph.
The last recorded Solar Superstorm called the "Carrington Event" occurred over a period of nine days in 1859. Auroras were seen as far south as the Caribbean, and telegraph networks failed across the Northern Hemisphere, in some cases even catching fire.