The gamma ray flare produced by neutron star SGR 1806-20, traveled 50,000 light years before impacting Earth. The burst was so powerful, that it disrupted Earth's ionosphere. Scientists know of only two other giant flares in the past 35 years, and this December 27, 2005 event was one hundred times more powerful than either of those Note: This animation illustrates Neutron star SGR 1806-20 which produced a gamma ray flare that disrupted Earth's ionosphere. Animator: Susan Twardy (HTSI). Scientist: Neil Gehrels (NASA/GSFC). Writer: Michael D. McClare (HTSI).