Sunday, July 20, 2008

Nuclear Blasts Show Terrifying Power

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Nuclear Blasts Show Terrifying Power

By Tony Long Write to the Author

It was 63 years ago today that the United States detonated the very first atomic bomb. Three weeks later, the only two A-bombs dropped in warfare destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. Many nuclear -- and thermonuclear -- bombs have been tested since. Here are some images.

Operation Upshot-Knothole, conducted at the Nevada Proving Ground between March 17 and June 4, 1953, consisted of 11 atmospheric tests: three airdrops, seven tower tests and one airburst. Upshot-Knothole involved the testing of new theories, using both fission and fusion devices.

House No. 1, located 3,500 feet from ground zero, was completely destroyed on the first day of testing. The elapsed time from the first picture to the last was 2⅔ seconds. The camera was completely enclosed in a 2-inch lead sheath as a protection against radiation. The only source of light was that from the detonation. Frame No. 1 (upper left) shows the house lighted by the blast. Frame No. 2 (upper right) shows the house on fire.

Courtesy National Nuclear Security Administration/Nevada Site Office

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