Re: galactic EMP

From: Chuck Kuecker (
Date: Sun Jan 14 2001 - 07:36:24 MST

At 02:06 PM 1/14/01 +0100, you wrote:

>I recall recently reading a warning about naturally occuring EMP,
>where monster flareups of the galactic center produce bursts of
>charged radiation, which, when rapidly deccelerated, can produce
>giant world-wide EMP.
>Since the amplitude of this natural EMP may eclipse NEMP by far, and
>our current electronics is a) unhardened b) hasn't seen any natural
>background variations of more than a few decades I'm interested in
>learning more on the matter. Can we see traces of the distant flareups?
>(We're interested in just few kYr windows here, so it's not out of
>question). If there's a lot of energy, old objects on the periphery
>of the solar system might see thermal effects on the surface (glazing,
>implanting). Maybe historical mentions of *really* spectacular aurora
>activities? People shocked when touching large metal objects?
>If we see a biggie every few 100 years, or even a kiloyear, we might
>be unwittedly sailing into big trouble. All hitech gear but military
>would be toast.

If the blast from galactic center is intense enough to scorch bodies in our
solar system, you don't have to worry about present day military gear
surviving. More to the point - would our atmosphere provide enough
shielding to allow life to remain on the surface, or even in the first 100
yards of the surface?

I take it the "EMP" will be caused by heavy particles traveling at sublight
speeds. If it's pure radiation, the first warning we get will also be the
last thing we ever see...

Chuck Kuecker

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