Quoting from wikipedia, "The last solar maximum was in 2001, and the next one has been predicted in 2010-2012. On March 10, 2006 NASA researchers announced that the next cycle would be the strongest since the historic maximum in 1958 in which the northern lights could be seen as far south as Rome, approximately 42° north of the equator". I was watching a show about the 2001 one and they said that, since then, 2000 satellites had been launched. These things disable satellites, boost voltage dangerously and knock out radio communications. Yikes. But the show should be great, better than fireworks anyway.