If we are to learn the lessons of the past, it doesn’t take a genius to infer that a solar storm could potentially trigger a military apocalypse. A new study suggests that the U.S. government’s effort to monitor the sun had saved the nation from a disastrous military confrontation during the Cold War.
History was clear cut in showing that the solar storm during the 70s could have ended up in a nuclear apocalypse had it not been for the governments’ efforts to invest in solar observatory and forecasting technologies, a new study suggests.
According to a study conducted by the University of Colorado, the effort of the U.S. government to enhance forecasting technology some 50 years ago had been instrumental in preventing a catastrophic phenomenon that could erase the United States from the map.
In a statement, Delores Knipp, lead researcher of the study, said that the scenario only proves how important it is to be prepared. Had the government not spend time and resources in advancing its technology to monitor the sun, it could have potentially caused disastrous military conflict during the Cold War.
“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. This was a lesson learned in how important it is to be prepared,” Knipp was quoted as saying by the American Geophysical Union.
According to the statement issued by the American Geophysical Union, the U.S. government started monitoring the solar activity in the late 1950s, which was carried out by the Air Force Air Weather Services (AWS), a special unit under the U.S Air Force.
The AWS detected solar flares, or abrupt and intense burst of solar radiation. The study also revealed that the solar flares the unit had detected could have imperiled the communication at that time and could have triggered military disaster.