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Sixty years ago today

  1. Oct 31, 2012 #1
    It was a Sunday morning on the resplendent island of Elugelab: a small island amid the Enewetak atoll in the Pacific Ocean. Like other Polynesian islands that are just west of the Date-Line, they are some of the first on Earth to see the new day's Sun. Elugelab was near the 165°E standard meridian so one would expect it to be 11 hours ahead of GMT, but Elugelab actually went by Marshall Islands Time ( MHT ) that is 12 hours ahead, so there is the inconvience that standard time is an hour ahead of the sundial time. The Sun was rising at 6h 12m 16s AM by the sundial's reckoning. The clouds on the east horizon were beginning to brighten and take on hues of orange and red. The morning songs of the island's birds, such as the common fairy terns were beginning along with the chatter of some parrots. Then something suddenly broke the stillness of that early morning.

    The explosion was the largest explosion ever witnessed. On October 31st 1952, at 19:14:59.4 (GMT), the first nuclear fusion H-bomb called Mike was detonated on Enewetak, as part of Operation Ivy. Elugelab was vaporized. A huge mushroom cloud arose to the stratosphere. This day was the first day of The Thermo-Nuclear Age.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2012
  2. jcsd
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