We all know it can be very frightening and destructive but have you ever wondered what a real nuclear explosion looks like? Well we have the answer to that now.
Recently, the US government has declassified 750 video footage from 210 atmospheric nuclear tests conducted in the United States between 1945 and 1962. The clips are truly fascinating and, yes, downright scary.
History tells us that the nuclear tests were done by the government during the nuclear arms race up to the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. The footage were captured using several cameras from different angles, showing us how the explosion looks like at around 2,400 frames per second. The US government made about 10,000 films.
Now those videos have been digitized and declassified by physicist Greg Spriggs and his team over at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). It took them five years to complete the project.
In a press statement, LLNL declared:
“The goals are to preserve the films’ content before it’s lost forever, and provide better data to the post-testing-era scientists who use computer codes to help certify that the aging US nuclear deterrent remains safe, secure and effective.”
Watch one of the videos here:
Currently, LLNL has located around 6,500 footage out of the existing 10,000. Out of that, they’ve been able to scan 4,200 films and have declassified 750 of them so far.
The footage have been uploaded on the official YouTube channel of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
According to Spriggs:
“One of the payoffs of this project is that we’re now getting very consistent answers. We’ve also discovered new things about these detonations that have never been seen before. New correlations are now being used by the nuclear forensics community, for example.”
The team anticipates that completing the scans for all the videos will take another two years.
They’re hoping that these nuclear test clips will make countries think twice about using such destructive weapons.
As Spriggs said:
“It’s just unbelievable how much energy’s released. We hope that we would never have to use a nuclear weapon ever again. I think that if we capture the history of this and show what the force of these weapons are and how much devastation they can wreak, then maybe people will be reluctant to use them.”
We sure hope these videos will reach as many world leaders as possible. No one really needs to experience a nuclear explosion.
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