Slow-motion footage of an airburst nuclear explosion hitting the ground

From the newly-released archives.

After collecting dust in high-security vaults for more than 65 years, hundreds of reels of film showing Cold War nuclear bomb tests have been declassified by the United States.

From 1945 to 1962, the United States detonated more than 210 nuclear bombs, with multiple cameras capturing each explosion at around 2,400 frames per second.

There's so many to watch!

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  1. A possible explanation is that acetate base is typically thicker and heavier then nitrate base. If you are using 35mm film at 60,000 frames per second, the film is moving at a mile a second. I believe they had a blank header that was several hundred yards long just to get the film up to speed. All the film had to be wound off one spool and onto another. The spools would have large cores, so you did not have to violently accelerate the emptying reel, while braking the filling one. Anything that would make the film lighter and thinner is a bonus.

    There were custom emulsions too. There was one with three black and white emulsions, with sensitivities in the ratio 1:100:10,000 so you could capture exposures of a million to one with constant aperture.

  2. two simultaneous autoplaying godzilla movies?

  3. Hell on Earth captured on film. Terrifying.

  4. An air burst can happen on a tower. You can see it is a tower shot by the bulges in the fireball because the charge runs faster down the supporting cables. The useful feature of an airburst is the shockwave and its reflection from the ground should combine just above the ground to form a Mach stem. This gives a single, horizontally moving nearly-cylindrical shockwave with more oomph to it for knocking over buildings. If you were going to have a fifties'-style city-leveller, then that's how it works.

    The fireball will typically detach and rise in a suitably photogenic manner. However, if it touches the ground, it is unlikely to find anything it can damage any further. I don't think touching the ground is a big deal. But, I don't claim to know.

  5. I am a little teapot short and stout
    here's a million candles, here's the fallout.

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