Saturday , October 1 2022

The solar storm in 1972 started the war mines in Vietnam – quartz


A Space Weather report could have solved a mystery of the Vietnam war – and it would have shown how much solar activity can interfere with Earth technology.

From time to time, solar missiles (strong explosions of magnetic energy on the Sun's surface) and coronal mass ejections (plasma clouds released by the Sun) can cause solar storms. The electromagnetic radiation they emit may interfere with communications systems. New research explored the consequences of a certain storm in 1972.

"The extreme weather events at the beginning of August 1972 have had a significant impact on the US Navy, which has not been widely reported," wrote the team's study team led by Delores Knipp, professor of engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder. "These effects, long buried in the Vietnam War Archives, add confidence in the severity of the storm: an almost instantaneous, involuntary detonation of tens of sea mines south of Hai Phong, North Vietnam."

These magnetic detonators of the American mines were designed to be triggered when a ship passed near. However, the solar storm – which happened on a star more than 90 million miles away – was enough to trigger them. In fact, according to the study, the electromagnetic pulse from the coronal mass injection that triggered the sea mine has reached the Earth in a record 14.6 hours (usually lasting up to two days). The study also notes that the additional effects of the storm included radio interruptions, a visible aurora in some parts of the UK and Spain, and damage to solar satellites to the orbiting satellites.

Documents of the descended navy recently reveal that officials suspect that solar activity is the cause of detonation of the seaport, but those records have not been fully investigated until the Space Journal investigation, reports Gizmodo. The authors of the study also called solar activity in 1972 a "Carrington storm", which refers to a geomagnetic storm of 1859, which remains the strongest record.

If a solar storm comparable to Carrington's resurfacing took place again, modern technology would have been eradicated, researchers at the Weather Prevention Center in Boulder, Colorado told National Geographic. Catastrophic damages would include huge energy disruptions and break up communications networks. In 2017, analysts at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics estimated that the cost of such an event would be equal to US GDP. Some scientists believe that such extreme solar activity could take place over the next 100 years.

Knipp told Yahoo Finance that, examining how a solar storm detonated seas, scientists can better understand solar activity in the future. "What this event is doing is to give a great sense of what these great storms could look like," Knipp said.

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