Rare Photos From Atmospheric Nuclear Tests Of The 1960s

Rare Photos From Atmospheric Nuclear Tests Of The 1960s

Image Cache: The last American nuclear weapons test conducted in the atmosphere was on 4 November 1962. And the website Topic got its hands on some newly declassified photos from that period, which look like exquisitely macabre art.

PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LABORATORY; UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY/Topic

Browse through the cool photos, animations and diagrams in Gizmodo’s Image Cache here.

Topic has the absolutely fascinating story behind the newly released photos, some of which are other-worldly. Which I guess makes sense, given the fact that these explosions were happening in space in order to determine how feasible it was to shoot a nuclear missile out of the sky. The short answer? It’s really, really hard, even after DARPA figured out how to build telescopes that correct for distortions in the atmosphere back in the 1980s.


President Trump and Kim Jong-un are making the world a lot less safe. And these old photos could become our reality soon if we’re not careful. But I guess until we all die in a fireball (or EMP blast, as some contend) we can just enjoy these strange and compelling images.

You can and should read the entire article over at Topic.