A solar storm registered on August 4, 1972, caused the almost instantaneous and involuntary detonation of dozens of US marine mines that blocked access to the port of Hai Phong, North Vietnam. The activity conforms to the description of a Carrington class event, which alludes to the great solar storm of 1859.
The study was carried out by reference to a testimony on the impact of solar disturbances on military operations in Vietnam in 1972, which has transcended the archives of the United States Navy. According to the work, published in Space Weather, there was no reason for these mines to detonate.
However, the authors of the University of Colorado Boulder (USA) affirm that the military considered probable that the cause was in the extreme solar activity at that moment and ended up attributing the event to the “magnetic perturbations of the solar storms”.
For the main researcher, Delores J.Knipp, the generalized disturbances of the electrical and communication network that affected North America and the disturbances in Southeast Asia at the end of August 4 were probably due to the propagation of the greatest eruptive activity from the Sun to the Earth,
Scientists indicate that this storm deserves a scientific review as a great challenge for the space weather community, as it provides terrestrial-space observations of what was likely to be a Carrington-class storm.