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Solar storm: How massive flare nearly caused WWIII

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Believing its radars were being jammed, the US nearly launched a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union in 1967. Disaster was averted when military weather forecasters explained that the “jamming” was actually a massive solar flare, a new report reveals.
US Air Force officers who helped prevent a nuclear holocaust revealed the details of the drama for the first time in a report made public Wednesday by the American Geophysical Union. The paper is slated for publication in the AGU journal Space Weather later this year.

“Had it not been for the fact that we had invested very early on in solar and geomagnetic storm observations and forecasting, the impact [of the storm] likely would have been much greater,” said Delores Knipp, a space physicist at the University of Colorado in Boulder and lead author of the report, who presented the findings at the National Center for Atmospheric Research on Wednesday

 

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