Fig4_6 Christmas island

Fig4_6 Christmas island

Fig. 4.6 . Photograph of the test of a nuclear bomb, code-named Truckee, delivered by air 16 kilometers south of Christmas Island (now Kiritimati), Pacific Ocean, on 9 June 1962 during Operation Dominic I. The explosion had a force equivalent to 210 kilotons of TNT, about ten times that of the atomic bomb detonated over Nagaski, Japan, on 9 August 1945. Truckee was a prototype test of the W-58 warhead carried on the Polaris A-2 missile and deployed on submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Thermonuclear detonations in the humid Pacific created their own localized weather systems; visible in Truckee’s cloud are multiple cloud condensation structures known as “bells” and “skirts,” as well as the more familiar “cauliflower” structure. The United States Air Force 1352nd Photographic Group, Lookout Mountain Station, took this image from Christmas Island. (Courtesy of Michael Light, also in his book 100 Suns, Alfred A. Knopf, 2003, number 81.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University