This Is Why Nuclear Bomb Photographs Have These Strange Crisscross Lines


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smoke trail (2)
Source: Planet Deadly
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If you have seen any nuclear bomb test images or videos, you might have wondered why additional wavy or wiggly lines appear in these pictures. These lines are in fact, atomic smoke trails.

Nuclear Bomb Test, Nevada Desert, June 4, 1953.
Source: Free Republic

Previously, during the conduction of nuclear tests, there were no supercomputers to help model or simulate the characteristics of an atomic explosion. Rockets were launched before the tests to create smoke trails. The explosion was then recorded with special high-speed cameras. The shockwave of a nuclear explosion is invisible, but it deforms these smoke columns. The film and observation of this deformation helped the scientists to measure the speed, shape and the pressure of the shockwave.

Source: Nuclear Weapon Archive

Here is the video of an atomic detonation caused by an atomic cannon:

 

Pretty cool, isn’t it?

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