A Red Glow Like the Dawn


That Awe-Full Power

The United States strongly seeks a lasting agreement for the discontinuance of nuclear weapons tests.
We believe that this would be an important step toward reduction of international tensions
and would open the way to further agreement on substantial measures of disarmament.

- Dwight D Eisenhower

The nuclear weapon is obsolete.  I want to get rid of them all.

- General Charles Horner

I really wish I knew what generated the lines on the left-hand side.  Those lines appeared in two photos and no others.  There was no explanation given.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Lines in nuke photo...
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 19:43:06 +0200
From: franco palamaro <mc4043@mclink.it>
To: <ruth@chaos.net.nz>

The lines in the image of the nuclear blast are left by a salvo of rockets that have a smoke generator, fired immediately before the blast.  They are there to study the behaviour of the blast wavefront(s): magnitude, shape, number et cetera.  in the hi speed camera footage (which is supposed to have reference points, or lines, reflecting the path of the rockets if there was no blast).


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Help
Date: 7 Aug 2005 21:55:27 -0000

This message was posted via the Feedback form.
Name: Angus Lepper
Email: anunbeliever@gmail.com

Comments: Just to say, that you say that you don\'t know what caused the lines on the left in the bottom picture.  To the best of my knowledge, which is self taught (but as far as I can tell, fairly accurate) these are rockets that were sent up during tests to serve as gauges of things such as shockwave shape and winds peeds near the detonation.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Suggestions
Date: 6 Aug 2005 08:42:04 -0000

This message was posted via the Feedback form.

Comments: Hi, I believe the information you\'re looking for to explain the smoke trails seen in the nuclear blast photos can be found here: www.physlink.com (as shown below):

Question: In numerous photos and films of nuclear explosions, there appear to be vertical streamers along side the fire ball/mushroom cloud.  What are they?
Asked by: Chas Beleski

Nuclear blast: The smoke trails were not caused by the blast itself, but rather were created to provide points of reference for measuring the shock wave caused by the nuclear blast.  In the first few milliseconds after a nuclear detonation, the fireball and shock wave are indistinguishable, but soon after, the fireball cools a little and the shock wave continues on beyond it.  The shock wave is a layer of high density air that expands out from the blast very rapidly.  In nuclear testing, the scientists and engineers wanted to be able to track the progress of the shock wave well after it went beyond the fireball, so they launched smoke rockets well behind the detonation site seconds before detonation.  The dense layer of air acted as a sort of lens, refracting the image of the smoke rockets behind it and allowing those working on the project to calculate the shock's velocity and its other properties as a function.
Answered by: Justin Clifford, High School Student, Alpine, Utah

Source: www.physlink.com/Education/AskExperts/ae503.cfm

Another view:

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Other
Date: 22 May 2005 17:02:47 -0000

This message was posted via the Feedback form.
Name: Randall Munroe
Email: rmunroe@gmail.com

Comments: I found a site (I forget where) where it explained that those lines were cables of some kind - perhaps hanging from balloons - that were used to see exactly how the shockwave was evolving in the air.  They can be seen in many photos of nuclear tests.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Other
Date: 19 Jan 2006 23:29:06 -0000

This message was posted via the Feedback form.
Name: Nuke spook
Email: POS_Technologies@excite.com

Comments: Just a note on the smoke trails - atmospheric tests used smoke rockets as described.  On some "tower shots" one can also see the ionization of the guy wires, which happened in advance of the shock front. USDoE has some photos of "Test Spike" on its site.

I am grateful to all of you for taking the time to write.

Click "Up" below to return to the original page on nuclear testing; click "Next" below to go to the next page of photos.

For pages on natural disasters - including lightning strikes, volcanoes, floods, global warming and more - as well as satellite photos and some great pictures of trees, go to the Index for this Environment section.

Home Up Next