Samples of trinitite at Trinity site, New Mexico

Samples of trinitite at Trinity site, New Mexico

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This image is part of the feature The Birth Of The Atomic Bomb

Credit: DAVID PARKER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Trinitite. Trinitite is a metamorphic rock found in New Mexico. It was formed during the explosion of the world's first nuclear bomb, code-named Trinity, on 16 July 1945. Trinitite is an altered silicate resembling rough green glass. The extreme temperatures of the nuclear explosion melted the native sandstone soil. As the material cooled it formed a glassy structure. The greenish colour comes from iron in the sand - the same iron which as an oxide gave the original sand its reddish colour. Most of the original radioactivity of the trinitite has gone in the last decades.

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Keywords: earth science, geological, geology, glass, macro, metamorphic rock, rock, rocks, trinitite, trinitite rock, trinity test, type

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