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Photo of a Nuclear Explosion Less than 1 Millisecond After Detonation

This might look like some kind of microscopic organism, but it’s actually a high-speed photograph of a nuclear explosion. It was captured less than 1 millisecond after the detonation using a rapatronic camera. the photograph was shot from roughly 7 miles away during the Tumbler-Snapper tests in Nevada (1952). The fireball is roughly 20 meters in diameter, and 3x hotter than the surface of the sun.


Doc Edgerton shot an atomic blast at a shutter speed of 1/100,000,000th of a second with a Rapatronic camera and it's glorious.

Harold Edgerton, Nuclear explosion photographed with a Rapatronic Camera 1 millisecond after detonation, 1952.


Nuclear explosions photographed with rapatronic camera

Rapatronic Camera Pictures - Imgur


Rapatronic Camera Pictures - Album on Imgur

from io9

The camera that captured the first millisecond of a nuclear bomb blast

The first few milliseconds of a nuclear explosion. Captured with a rapatronic camera.


Developed by Dr. Harold Edgerton in the 1940s, the Rapatronic photographic technique allowed very early times in a nuclear explosion’s fireball growth to be recorded on film. The exposures were often as short as 10 nanoseconds, and each Rapatronic camera would take exactly one photograph.


Rapatronic Camera Pictures - Imgur