Denver seems to be on every hot list these day. One is concerning.

If you’ve watched national news chances are you’ve seen the map that indicates Denver is in a path of a potential nuclear attack from North Korea.

“Probably to North Koreans Denver probably isn't a very interesting place... they don't know what's here,” said CU professor Brian Toon, who has studied the potential impacts of nuclear war.

“Denver is on the map just because there is a circle of range from North Korea,” Toon said. “And the line sweeps through Denver and Los Angeles and Chicago.”

“It's like if you're on an airplane and you're going to North Korea…you don't go straight on a flat map, you go up over the pole.”.

The “nuclear sponge."

There is one reason the Denver area could be impacted by a potential nuclear attack. The region sits close to an area meant to serve as a “throwaway target,” Toon said.

The strategy is known as “nuclear sponge”: the military has installed missile silos in parts of northern Colorado, eastern Wyoming and western Nebraska.

“They're an obvious target because you know exactly where they are,” Toon said. “If you were a Russian you wouldn't want to leave them sitting in the ground.”

Hence, a nuclear power attacking the U.S. would likely have to hit these targets first to try to prevent retaliation.

“If you don't give them a target they can hit, they'll use their missiles to attack San Francisco, San Diego and New York,” Toon said.

“People should educate themselves about the dangers of nuclear weapons,” Toon said. “The American People haven't thought of nuclear weapons for a long time now.”