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Because a solar flare was set to come from the sun, briefly covering the whole planet with gamma radiation.


It would have to be secondary gamma radiation, generated by particles reaching Earth. Primary gamma radiation (generated by the Sun itself) is electromagnetic and arrives at the same time as visible light, known in this case as "daylight". Particles travel (very much) slower and, if electrically charged, can get caught up in the Earth's magnetic field and be carried around the planet to the night side.

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