According to a new study, a powerful solar storm nearly led to nuclear war during the Cold War. A solar flare disrupted three of the U.S. early-warning system radars at the same time, on May 23, 1967. They had first presumed the surveillance radars were jammed by the Soviet Union.
- A nuclear war could be caused by a solar storm as it jammed the American radars during the Cold War.
- The Cold War lasted for a half of a century and it implied tensions between the United States and The Soviet Union.
Pentagon was ready to organize a significant military response to what was thought to be an act of aggression. There were any nuclear-armed bombers ready to launch while the government was trying to find out what really happened. It was a group of weather forecasters from the North American Aerospace Defense Command that clarified the situation: the radars were jammed by the solar storm, not by the Soviet Union. Imagine what could have happened if Lydon Johnson, the president of the U.S. at that time, was not waiting for an official response.
Their luck was that early investments were made on solar and geomagnetic observations. The U.S. military began watching over solar activity and space weather in 1950’s. This is the reason why they were able to discover the disturbances in Earth’s magnetic and field.
Those radar systems were designed to detect Soviet missiles. Solar storms can disrupt radio communication and power line transmission. If the military officials did not find the real reason regarding this matter, there could have been a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union. The information got to the right place, at the right time, to prevent a disaster.
Nuclear warfare is a military conflict or political strategy in which are used nuclear weapons. It can be more dangerous than a normal war, as it has long-term effects, such as the nuclear winter, that could last for decades or centuries.
So far, there were two nuclear weapons used during the World War II. The United States detonated over Hiroshima, Japan, a uranium gun-type device. Three days later, another device was detonated over Nagasaki. Almost 120, 000 people died because those two bombings. The Cold War was between the United States and the Soviet Union. It lasted for much of the second half of the 20th century. There were tensions, international incidents, and suspicions which lead to this war.
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