To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Expert breaks down what would happen if there was a nuclear explosion in space
Featured Image Credit: NASA/Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images

Expert breaks down what would happen if there was a nuclear explosion in space

Professor Don Pollacco has explained the potentially dire consequences

A space expert has revealed what would happen if there was a nuclear explosion in space amid fears over Russia's apparent space-based nuclear weapon.

As per a recent report by NBC News, Moscow is said to be designing a weapon to target US satellites - though it is not thought to be operational yet.

US satellites transmit billions of bytes of data on an hourly basis. They are vital for the country's civilian communications, navigation, military operations, and intelligence gathering.

The recent report has prompted the head of the US House Intelligence Committee to call for President Joe Biden to declassify information about 'a serious national security threat'.

House Speaker Mike Johnson subsequently told the press on Wednesday: "We are going to work together to address this matter, as we do all sensitive matters that are classified."

Russia has since dismissed the claims.

Moscow has since dismissed the reports as a 'malicious fabrication', with spokesman Dmitry Peskov telling TASS: "It is obvious that the White House is trying, by hook or by crook, to encourage Congress to vote on a bill to allocate money, this is obvious."

Nonetheless, the recent news has got people thinking about what would happen if there was a nuclear explosion in space.

Well, thankfully we have an expert on hand to provide us with some kind of idea.

Professor Don Pollacco, Department of Physics at the University of Warwick, tells UNILAD: "Nuclear explosions in space produce an intense burst of radiation (light and other wavelengths - called an Electromagnetic Pulse) that effectively 'blind' satellites, rendering communications and other monitoring services useless.

"This pulse of energy can also reach the ground and again disables the use of unprotected electrical items. In space the explosion also produces vast quantities of radiation and anybody close by will be heated by its impact.

"This is different to a nuclear explosion in the atmosphere, which creates a shockwave and it is this that creates the damage."

The professor has explained what would happen in space.
Getty Stock Photo

Professor Pollacco went on to say the major powers across the globe 'have the technology to destroy individual satellites'.


The expert does have some better news, though.

He explains: "Recently we have seen the initial deployment of Elon Mask’s Starlink network of satellites which will eventually be comprised of tens of thousands of spacecraft in low earth orbit. Removing individual satellites would not be an effective way to disable the network, instead a nuclear device would be far more effective.

"Of course. An explosion of this type will not discriminate between satellites and all visible satellites from any country will be disabled."

While recent reports have mentioned Russia, professor Pollacco thinks it's 'naive' to assume only Russia are involved with this technology.

Topics: Space, Russia, Technology, US News