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Solar Storm Nearly Led to Nuclear War in 1967, Study Says | The Weather Channel

Story Highlights

A solar charge on May 23, 1967 scarcely led to chief fight between a United States and a then-Soviet Union.

Military officials believed intrusion of radars caused by a geomagnetic charge was caused by a Soviets.

U.S. Military officials deliberate any such jamming an act of war.

A absolute solar charge during a Cold War years of a 1960s scarcely led to chief war, a new investigate says.

On May 23, 1967, a United States Air Force reportedly scrambled to prepared chief missile-laden aircraft for deployment after a solar light disrupted all 3 of a United States’ early-warning complement radars during a same time, putting troops officials on edge, according to a investigate conducted by scientists and troops officials and published in Space Weather.

“The aircraft did not launch – we’re flattering certain of that,” lead researcher Delores Knipp of a University of Colorado during Boulder told Gizmodo. “Was fight imminent? What we know is that decisions were being done on a tens of mins to hours basis, and that information got to a right place during a right time to forestall a disaster.”

Radar systems designed to detect incoming Soviet missiles were put out of elect by a absolute geomagnetic charge entrance from a sun, a investigate learned. These storms can interrupt radio communication and energy line transmission. Military officials believed for a brief time that a Soviets had been means to jam radar signals and deliberate any such pierce an act of war.

(WATCH: The Aurora Borealis Explained)

America’s mint Solar Forecasting Center was means to establish a loyal means of a disruptions only in a scrape of time and equivocate what competence have turn World War III, a investigate also said.

“Had it not been for a fact that we had invested really early on in solar and geomagnetic charge observations and forecasting, a impact [of a storm] expected would have been many greater,” pronounced Knipp. “This was a doctrine schooled in how vicious it is to be prepared.”

While a May 1967 solar eventuality is deliberate one of a many poignant solar storms of a past century, a researchers note that small educational courtesy had been paid to a event. Knipp and her associate researchers set out to inspect a implications of what another absolute solar charge like a one in 1967 competence meant for today’s “radio-reliant, cellular-phone and satellite-navigation-enabled world.”

While researching reports from a era, Knipp and her group began vocalization to late U.S. Air Force officials to learn how a eventuality influenced a military. That’s when news of a near-nuclear “retaliation” came to light.

Lasting Legacy

Knipp remarkable that one of a long-lasting outcomes of a charge was “more grave Department of Defense support for current-day space continue forecasting.”

“The purpose of Air Force SESS crew was vicious in progressing a contentment of a republic and a universe as a May 1967 charge unfolded,” pronounced Knipp in a paper. “Further, a May 1967 space continue events combined a cascade of vicious decisions and studies that have contributed to a margin of Space Weather as we know it, so providing information to complement engineers, and decision- and policy-makers during many levels, even today.”

MORE ON WEATHER.COM: Sun Images by NASA, Jun 19, 2013


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