US NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY US NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Operation Ivy hydrogen bomb test, 1952. Aerial photograph of the massive mushroom cloud produced by the Mike thermonuclear explosion at Enewetak Atoll, in the Pacific, on 1st November 1952. Using the new hydrogen bomb technology, this was the largest nuclear explosion ever at the time. It had a yield of 10.4 million tons of TNT, hundreds of times more powerful than normal atom bombs. The mushroom cloud reached a height of 17 kilometres in less than 90 seconds. At its largest, the top of the mushroom cloud was over 160 kilometres across, and the column was 32 kilometres across. The atoll was obliterated.
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