How the death of a star can disrupt cellphone signals on Earth

Hanno Labuschagne

Staff member
Sep 2, 2019
How the death of a star can disrupt cellphone signals on Earth

When a massive star dies it can explode into a supernova, releasing a burst of gamma radiation that can be detected millions of light-years away and interfere with wireless communications on Earth.

So explains Soebur Razzaque, the director of the Centre for Astro-Particle Physics at the University of Johannesburg, whose team recently published their research predicting gamma-ray burst (GRB) behaviour in the journal Nature Astronomy.

Speaking to MyBroadband, Razzaque said that the radiation from a GRB can ionize the magnetosphere of the Earth.


Executive Member
Jan 2, 2006
Outbursts from our sun, called solar flares, are a more imminent threat. The last big one was in 1859:
Our solar system is quite long overdue for a significant CME from our sun (as determined by unspecified scientists that study solar flares), and it makes me wonder if SA will be the only country to survive a big one like in 1859, because you can be sure that eSkommel will be on stage 9+ of loadshitting before there is even any warning of a CME on its way to Earth.