Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Hunting for the best nuclear explosion photos is one of those research tasks that reminds me how much fun my job can be. This image is an example of one of the many photographs that are free and in the public domain that is also available at a price from Getty and probably other agencies. The image I received from the Los Alamos National Laboratory is much better quality than the version Getty images is selling.
This photograph shows the first thermonuclear test on October 31st, 1952. The island the test device was installed on, Elugelab (code named Flora), was entirely destroyed. The resulting crater was 6240 ft across and 164 ft deep.
I had dreams when I was younger of watching the bomb go off- this was during the cold war. One in particular I remember involved me sitting on a bridge with my legs dangling over the edge watching the bomb go off.
Photo courtesy Los Alamos National Laboratory Archives