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Why does the rate of propagation matter? I presume that during the course of the explosion there are several sequential phases. If phase x emits some non-EMP but detectable signal, say an X-Ray burst and phase y emits the EMP, both of which propagate at the same rate, then you have time(y) - time(x) to respond to detecting x before the EMP from y reaches you.

Explosions, like all other macro scale phenomena are not instantaneous, they just appear so until an appropriately small time step is applied.




"If phase x emits some non-EMP but detectable signal, say an X-Ray burst and phase y emits the EMP"

No, "X-Rays" travel at the same speed as the "EMP" - both travel at the speed of light. They're both part of the electromagnetic spectrum.




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