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Giant solar flare detonated mines during Vietnam War

Magnetic radiation from giant solar storms caused the sudden and nearly instantaneous detonation of dozens of sea mines in Vietnam in the 1970s, research has confirmed.

At the time of the mysterious explosions, the US Navy attributed to the event to "magnetic perturbations of solar storms" — an attribution which scientists from the University of Colorado have confirmed.

In their paper, published in the journal Space Weather, the team established that the mine detonations — alongside widespread electric and communication-grid disturbances seen in North America, were due to an enormous solar flare which burst towards Earth.

American napalm bombs exploding in fields south of Saigon during the Vietnam war. Napalm kills by asphyxiation and burning and was first used by the US against Japan in WW II. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Towards the end of the Vietnam War in 1972, the US military deployed 11,000 sea mines south of Hai Phong in northern Vietnam to blockade naval supply routes which were vital to the Vietcong and the North Vietnamese Regular Army.

However, on 4 August, a few months after these sea mines had been sewn throughout those waters — dozens of them apparently spontaneously and almost instantaneously detonated.

A research team led by Dr Delores Knipp wrote that the solar storm "deserves a scientific revisit as a grand challenge for the space weather community, as it provides space‐age terrestrial observations of what was likely a Carrington‐class storm."

Article source: “https://news.sky.com/story/giant-solar-flare-detonated-mines-during-vietnam-war-11549081”