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Starfish Prime Geomagnetic Storm

11 July 2022

At https://spaceweather.com of July 10th 2022. Back in 1962, the US military deployed a thermonuclear warhead 250 miles above the Pacific Ocean. It is known as the Starfish Prime, we are told. Witnesses in Hawaii and New Zealand reported seeing aurorae overhead, and midnight rainbow stripes in the sky. It seems the explosion created an artificial equivalent of a solar storm complete with not just aurorae but other geomagnetic activity including black outs on the surface. The above was caused by a geomagnetic pulse – a burst of radiation if you like, that ionised the upper atmosphere . It seems that ionised air over the Pacific pinned down earth’s magnetic field and let it go again when the ionisation subsided. It affected a region hundreds of miles around the blast zone. It also affected early satellites in orbit around the earth, such as the UKs Ariel 1 and the US Telstar 1. Geomagnetic storms can bring down satellites via orbital decay as the upper atmosphere warms up and expands to the point it can pull satellites down towards the surface. We may wonder if, in the past, meteor explosions in the atmosphere have also produced auroral plumes, and geomagnetic storms.

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