SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Operation Crossroads atom bomb test, seen from observation airplanes flying towards the mushroom cloud after detonation. This is the Baker atomic explosion carried out at Bikini Atoll, in the Pacific, at 21:34 UTC on 24 July 1946 as part of Operation Crossroads. Baker was the first underwater nuclear detonation. The yield was thousands of tons of TNT, with the column of water vapour reaching thousands of metres into the air. The explosion and wave of water overwhelmed and sank unmanned test ships. For the initial aerial footage including the detonation, see clip K007/8878.
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