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50th Anniversary of the Starfish Prime Nuclear Weapon Test Today 190

Posted by samzenpus
from the big-boom dept.
The Bad Astronomer writes "50 years ago today, the U.S. detonated a nuclear weapon 240 miles above the Pacific Ocean. Called Starfish Prime, it was supposed to help U.S. scientists and the military understand how the Soviets might try to stop incoming nuclear missiles. What it actually did was blow out hundreds of streetlights in Hawaii 900 miles away, damage a half dozen satellites, and create artificial aurorae and intense radiation zones above the Earth. It taught the world what an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) was, and what the effects might be from a powerful solar flare, a nearby supernova, or a gamma-ray burst."
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50th Anniversary of the Starfish Prime Nuclear Weapon Test Today

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  • another device for science fiction. Can't even recall the number (high) of books and short fiction where this device has figured in somewhere.

  • by saveferrousoxide (2566033) on Monday July 09, 2012 @01:31PM (#40593939)
    "Sir...We're hundreds miles from anything...what could possibly go wrong?"
  • So that explains how the Rock [google.com] got super powers!

  • by SirGarlon (845873) on Monday July 09, 2012 @01:37PM (#40594039)
    Comparing a man-made nuclear bomb to a gamma-ray burst [wikipedia.org] seems kind of like comparing one pixel on your monitor to the Sun.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Once Again Mother Nature can kick our Asses with out hesitation.

    • From what distance?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 09, 2012 @02:20PM (#40594523)

        I guess, the nuclear test would have to be much much closer to register as one pixel vs. the sun, if you want to compare it vs. a type 1a supernova. Maybe 100m from the nuclear blast is about similar to type 1a supernova at 150,000,000,000m, or about where the sun is, and then *maybe* you may compare the two on the scale of one pixel (the nuke) vs. sun in terms of brightness over about 5 seconds.

        A nuclear device can only come close to brightness comparison if you are looking at scales of microseconds or similar. And that comparison only works because of the limitations of speed of light!

        To keep it in perspective, a supernova can blow away Earth's like planet atmospheres over a distance of *light years*. It can irradiate and destroy ozone layers at a distance of hundreds and hundreds of light years, and some at a few thousand light years.

        Some cosmic BOOMs are so large, that they will glow more brightly than the rest of the visible universe combined. And the longer you look, the larger BOOMs are seen :)

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/7893771/Nasa-satellite-blinded-by-biggest-ever-star-explosion-seen-in-space.html [telegraph.co.uk]

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      Pretty much. I am thinking that most of the geeks have left slashdot and it is now just a stone to grind political axes without any understanding. What happened to the good old days of people building mech playhouses for their kids in the backyard.
      Now that was a whole lot of awesome

      • by russotto (537200)

        What happened to the good old days of people building mech playhouses for their kids in the backyard.

        All arrested for child endangerment.

    • by Goaway (82658)

      Actually, comparing one pixel on my screen to a class-G star a couple lightyears away seems entirely reasonable.

    • by bitt3n (941736)

      Comparing a man-made nuclear bomb to a gamma-ray burst [wikipedia.org] seems kind of like comparing one pixel on your monitor to the Sun.

      mostly because I'd notice if a pixel on my monitor burnt out.

  • Actually? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by magarity (164372) on Monday July 09, 2012 @01:41PM (#40594091)

    it was supposed to help US scientists and the military understand how the Soviets might try to stop incoming nuclear missiles. What it actually did was

    Thanks for the loaded language; actually, it probably did both. It's nice that now when we know about all the negative effects so we can peer down our nose at the evil scientist puppets of the military but they really didn't know back then. That's why it's called an "experiment".

    • by timeOday (582209) on Monday July 09, 2012 @02:51PM (#40594863)
      Ha, I'd like to hear commentary on the nobility of scientific experiments if/when China does this. I'm sure we would have no problem with them bursting nukes over our heads and knocking out our satellites (oops!)
      • by magarity (164372)

        Ha, I'd like to hear commentary on the nobility of scientific experiments if/when China does this. I'm sure we would have no problem with them bursting nukes over our heads and knocking out our satellites (oops!)

        The previous experiment found out about the harmful side effects 50+ years prior so you think the only reason anyone would complain about worldwide radiation today is because of petty nationalism?

    • Re:Actually? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojo@@@world3...net> on Monday July 09, 2012 @03:58PM (#40595597) Homepage

      Actually a lot of the data was lost because it went off the charts or the equipment was destroyed.

      The dumb thing was they assumed the Soviets would try it without actually witnessing them testing their own version. When you look at the history of the nuclear stand-off the US looks pretty crazy next to the USSR. I can understand why the US is now so paranoid about countries like Iran getting nuclear weapons - it's because they assume Iran will be as nuts as they were.

      • The US wasn't detonating nuclear bombs as though you had a bunch of rednecks blowing up anthills. Some of the brightest minds in science poured over the data. Else, the bombs wouldn't have progressed at the technological level they had.

        Do you have NetFlix? I highly recommend Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie. It's about the most informative documentary flick I've watched in a while. Nukes in Space - Rainbow Bombs is another one worth watching. Both narrated by William Shatner.

    • by lennier (44736)

      it was supposed to help US scientists and the military understand how the Soviets might try to stop incoming nuclear missiles. What it actually did was

      Thanks for the loaded language; actually, it probably did both.

      Right. The results were probably something like "neat, so we can fry the electronics of incoming missiles by launching a high-altitude burst of our own, and we don't even have to get very close... and we can use this to take out satellites, spacecraft, civilian ground systems, all sorts of things... but we better harden all our military systems against the EMP burst. On the downside, we now have to replace about a thousand light bulbs in Hawaii, but hey, Science!"

      On the other hand, there was a reason Starfi

  • by wisebabo (638845) on Monday July 09, 2012 @01:50PM (#40594179) Journal

    ... of the Sea" (With the cool sub that had a giant viewport in the front and could launch a flying saucer like aircraft).

    I seem to remember a nuclear explosion high in the atmosphere causing the ionosphere(?) to ignite(?) and BAD THINGS happening. They are sent to launch a counter missile(?) which will extinguish the "flame". (Sorry, it's late here in Vietnam and I'm too lazy to research.

    Unfortunately, this is probably a good argument against project Orion. Hundreds (thousands?) of tiny nukes going off in LEO would probably also do bad things.

    Was this a factor leading up to the above ground test ban treaty? I mean it wouldn't be good to accidentally wipe out the world's electronics industry. (Now doing it on purpose, that's something else entirely). The test ban treaty probably stopped the development of "shaped" nuclear charges (blasting a city from an explosion in orbit) and other exotic weapons like fission bomb pumped x-ray lasers. Oh well, let's hope the Aliens are friendly!

    • by gman003 (1693318) on Monday July 09, 2012 @02:17PM (#40594487)

      Was this a factor leading up to the above ground test ban treaty? I mean it wouldn't be good to accidentally wipe out the world's electronics industry. (Now doing it on purpose, that's something else entirely). The test ban treaty probably stopped the development of "shaped" nuclear charges (blasting a city from an explosion in orbit) and other exotic weapons like fission bomb pumped x-ray lasers. Oh well, let's hope the Aliens are friendly!

      Note: I'm going completely off memory here, quite likely to get some details wrong.

      This test (and Soviet counterparts) drove a high-altitude test ban treaty (that might actually be the name). They both rather quickly saw that continuing this would bring only ruin to them both.

      That probably was a major factor in the later above-ground and then comprehensive test bans, proving that the two countries could write and abide by a treaty limiting nuclear weapons in any way. But those were years later.

    • You're remembering a bad old scifi movie. 'Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea' or something.

      They got the idea from a bunch of morons demanding the 'precautionary principle' before it had a name.

      They also thought atom bombs would blow a hole in the bottom of the ocean and all the water would drain out.

    • by slew (2918)

      Was this a factor leading up to the above ground test ban treaty?

      Starfish Prime (as I recally the only successful detonation of operation Fishbowl) was in July 1962 so it was probably a factor. More generally the whole expiration of the moritorium on nuclear testing in 1961 (resulting in the US and USSR getting in to a propaganda "pissing contest" with radiation polluting the atmosphere). The cuban missle crisis which occured later in October 1962, however, was probably the primary factor leading up to the Limited test ban treaty which was signed in 1963.

      The test ban treaty probably stopped the development of "shaped" nuclear charges (blasting a city from an explosion in orbit) and other exotic weapons like fission bomb pumped x-ray lasers.

      Probably not, fo

    • Unfortunately, this is probably a good argument against project Orion. Hundreds (thousands?) of tiny nukes going off in LEO would probably also do bad things.

      It means Orion has to be built in space and moved away from the planet on some other kind of propulsion before you can start launching nukes, not that Orion is a bad idea...

  • by AaronGilliland (2680441) on Monday July 09, 2012 @02:03PM (#40594343)
    Bad Astronomer makes it sound like they didn't achieve their objective. They learned a hell of a lot. Modern warheads are heavily shielded against EMP, so it's not a great point defense. What's more, setting off EMP over your own territory is a bit like breaking your car so you won't get into a car accident.

    A somewhat similar idea (but not too similar) is the idea of X-ray pindown. To facilitate an attack, the aggressor would detonate a neutron bomb high over the target country, bathing it in x-rays so harsh that the target country's ICBM's would be damaged if they tried to launch in retaliation.

    Another interesting aside (at least I think it is): the early anti-ballistic missile programs, Sentinel and Safeguard, were designed to destroy incoming nuclear warheads by... blowing them up with other nuclear warheads. This had the positive effect of taking out one or two incoming warheads, and the very negative effect of blinding the system's radar to any other incoming warheads.

    Mind your emissions, gentlemen.
    • by TCPhotography (1245814) on Monday July 09, 2012 @02:20PM (#40594517)

      The phased arrays that backed the deployed ABM system would not have been blinded by the interceptor warhead initiations. This was the primary advantage of moving to a phase array system for intercept control duty. There is also the fact that the Spartan missiles would have been doing the intercepts well over Canada, and it is only the SPRINT missiles that would have been doing terminal interceptions. Even with Sprint, a 10-30kt event over your territory is a lot better than a much larger (say 1mt) event that's a ground-burst.

      Presently both the US and the Russians use Hit-to-Kill ABM systems because both nations have too much stuff in orbit that is too expensive to replace that we couldn't afford to pump energy into the van Allen belts on the scale that a nuclear-dependent ABM system would provide.

  • by bobbied (2522392) on Monday July 09, 2012 @02:05PM (#40594371)

    One small nuclear device detonated over the US at about 10,000 feet could make a huge mess of things. Not from the blast damage, not from radiation, but from EMP. Draw some 1,800 mile wide circles on a map and see how large an area can be affected.

    The initial effect of an EM pulse would destroy just about everything attached to the power grid. Huge voltage spikes and induced currents would literally overload and destroy both the grid and things attached. Power delivery would most certainly be disrupted because the infrastructure used to deliver power would be seriously damaged. The power lines would exist, but the transformers, relays and controls would have serious problems. Further, power generating plants would likely be seriously damaged, so there would be no power to distribute. Radio communications would be almost totally disrupted for days, and partially disrupted for weeks. Land line phones would surely be seriously damaged and cell phones would not be useable.

    Don't think that being disconnected from the grid would not mean you are safe. Anything with even a few feet of wire hanging onto it would be subject to serious damage. Most consumer electronics, including cars, cell phones, radios and TVs would likely be damaged beyond repair. Your solar powered home will be as dark as everybody else and those of you with local generators are unlikely to be in much better shape. You will literally find yourself back in horse and buggy days, only with very few horses to be had. Few cars would be running, mostly old ones with old ignition systems and mechanical fuel pumps.

    The real question is how long would it take to repair the grid and get things going? If the east coast storms of last week are any example, one can only conclude that it will be a LONG time. How many people will starve during that time?

    Science fiction aside, this EMP thing is real and more dangerous than using nuclear devices to blow stuff up. Even a small device could cause serious long lasting damage for a HUGE part of the US.

    • by Baloroth (2370816)
      Of course, doing so would also piss off pretty much the entire planet, because it would likely knock out hundreds of satellites and disrupt world-wide communications for weeks or months afterwards, and space travel for (potentially) years. So anyone who wants to pull something like that off has to be willing to face the military wrath of more or less the entire planet afterwards.
      • by gl4ss (559668)

        Of course, doing so would also piss off pretty much the entire planet, because it would likely knock out hundreds of satellites and disrupt world-wide communications for weeks or months afterwards, and space travel for (potentially) years. So anyone who wants to pull something like that off has to be willing to face the military wrath of more or less the entire planet afterwards.

        well, usually in fiction such device is exploded by someone plotting to incite war for various reasons.
        anyhow, doubt that it would lead to total war if it was just some offshoot operation or by a non major state.

        however, destroying an awful lot of electronics would sure fix the economy for couple of years right up.

    • by kamapuaa (555446)

      It wouldn't be like that. It would be in Star Trek, where there is a panel overload. Basically, electricity flies out of the electronics and everybody flies around the bridge.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dunbal (464142) *
      Let's see, the test was a 1.4 megaton device at an altitude of 400km. While it had some impressive effects 900km away, it didn't destroy all civilization as we know it in the Pacific rim. Yet you claim that a much smaller device at 10,000 feet (3km?) would wipe out an entire continent. Methinks you are full of shit.
      • by japhmi (225606) on Monday July 09, 2012 @03:22PM (#40595167)

        As 'luck' would have it, currently it is believed that an EMP pulse over North America would be worse than in Hawaii due to the difference in the geomagnetic field in the two locations. For example, it is believed that a blast over the Dakotas would mostly cause problems south of the blast vs a circle all the way around.

        Now, I think from my reading that his numbers are wrong (it would need to be higher), but the total kt isn't as important (and a smaller bomb could be constructed to emphasize EMP over blast).

        Check out the US Army's document "Nuclear Environment Survivability." (Report ADA278230)

    • by trims (10010) on Monday July 09, 2012 @03:09PM (#40595025) Homepage

      While the effects you describe are definitely real and a huge issue, significant-footprint EMP really requires a thermonuclear device, not a "small" fission one.

      For maximum EMP damage, 10,000 feet is far too low an altitude. You want a minimum of 50km altitude. So, to do a EMP, you must have orbital launch capability (i.e. Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile or better capability). Loading a nuke onboard a plane and detonating it at 40,000 feet won't work for producing an EMP of any effect.

      Maximum area of the EMP is limited to "line of sight" to the detonation point. So, detonating higher in the atmosphere gives a larger potential EMP radius. However, the higher the altitude, the lower the total amount of radiated energy from the blast converted into EMP. This is primarily due to the atmosphere absorbing a significant amount of the energy before it reaches ground level. And, of course, EMP is not some binary works-or-not; it's a power level, and each device has a different level of interference that it can withstand before frying. So, you're faced with a tradeoff: the higher you detonate the warhead, the larger the potential area of the EMP, but the weaker the EMP is throughout the entire area.

      Realistically speaking, warheads under 100kt don't produce usable EMP. At the minimum effective EMP altitude of about 30km, 100kt produces a useful EMP (one which will fry unshielded simple commercial electronics) directly underneath the weapon detonation, perhaps in a hectare or so. A 200kt weapon (the maximum effective yield of a non-boosted, pure fission weapon) could produce a EMP with maybe a few km or so radius.

      Effective EMP areas require 300-400kt or more, which requires, at minimum, a boosted fission/fusion weapon, which is much more difficult to build than a pure fission weapon. With these, you might be able to get an EMP radius of 50-100km or so. To get the really big EMP, you need a thermonuclear weapon, ideally in the low MT range (2-5MT). These are the weapons that were used in the USA and USSR's Fractional Orbital Bombardment systems you read about in fiction books. They can produce the 1000km+ radius effects.

      Given all the above, to do any real EMP, you need BOTH orbital launch capability, AND boosted fission nuclear weapon ability. At this point, a total of 6 countries (USA, Russia, UK, France, China, India) have this ability, with two possibly working on it (Pakistan, North Korea), and nobody else getting there anytime soon (even Israel is unlikely to have the requisite missile capability). In the big scheme of things, not something that we really have to worry about more than general nuclear weapon use, as EMP use is far beyond the capabilities of any non-state actor, and fairly obvious if any state-level attempt is being made to produce one.

      -Erik

      • You fail at spoiling our delicious chills of terror. We eagerly await the massive solar storm...
      • by bobbied (2522392)

        I believe you are correct that a higher burst would be better, but the size and type of the bomb is not as important as you seem to indicate.

        But my point here is that considering how bound we are to our technology and how unprepared we are for a wide spread disruption of even basic electrical power distribution, an EMP would be a serious problem.

        Puts a whole new face on the missile defense systems....

        • We're also bound to our flesh, infrastructure, and ambient levels of radiation. Nuclear devices already work pretty well at disrupting those.
          The threat of nuclear attacks is the same as it been since I was born.
          Ditto for the threat of nuclear missiles.
          The missile defense systems in the works likewise haven't changed much. They're attempts at funneling money to the military-industrial-complex for a product that isn't going to be used and probably wouldn't work well if it was.
          • by bobbied (2522392)

            Hmmm... I think it would actually work if not right away eventually.... Why else would our old adversary in Russia be so opposed to such a system being fielded in Europe?

            • Because the missile shield requires military bases and military involvement in Poland, which is a nice excuse to keep men, guns, and tanks right next door to Russia. You know, to guard the missiles. That's the ticket.

              Also, there's not much use for a missle shield that works eventually. You pretty much have one shot at it. If you screw that up, you're all kinda dead.
    • by necro81 (917438)
      Thanks, Newt [google.com]. Are you still running for president?
    • Don't think that being disconnected from the grid would not mean you are safe. Anything with even a few feet of wire hanging onto it would be subject to serious damage. Most consumer electronics, including cars, cell phones, radios and TVs would likely be damaged beyond repair. Your solar powered home will be as dark as everybody else and those of you with local generators are unlikely to be in much better shape. You will literally find yourself back in horse and buggy days, only with very few horses to be had. Few cars would be running, mostly old ones with old ignition systems and mechanical fuel pumps

      As Mr Nimzicki once said "Uh Mr. President. Thats not entirely accurate"

      Please read the EMP commission report. http://www.empcommission.org/ [empcommission.org]

      • by bobbied (2522392)

        As Mr Nimzicki once said "Uh Mr. President. Thats not entirely accurate"

        Please read the EMP commission report. http://www.empcommission.org/ [empcommission.org]

        What? You mean I didn't read the following correctly?

        EMP is one of a small number of threats that can hold our society at risk of catastrophic consequences. EMP will cover the wide geographic region within line of sight to the nuclear weapon. It has the capability to produce significant damage to critical infrastructures and thus to the very fabric of US society, as well as to the ability of the United States and Western nations to project influence and military power.

        The common element that can produce such an impact from EMP is primarily electronics, so pervasive in all aspects of our society and military, coupled through critical infrastructures. Our vulnerability is increasing daily as our use of and dependence on electronics continues to grow. The impact of EMP is asymmetric in relation to potential protagonists who are not as dependent on modern electronics.

        The current vulnerability of our critical infrastructures can both invite and reward attack if not corrected. Correction is feasible and well within the Nation's means and resources to accomplish.

        From the Executive report Abstract

        • What? You mean I didn't read the following correctly?

          If you would have read the report you would not be coming back to me wondering what part(s) you got wrong.

          What does the report say about vechicles? Old Vechicles? New Vechicles? What were the results of their testbed?

          • by bobbied (2522392)

            If you look at their data, they determined that at 25KV/m applied pulse, 3 out of 5 autos would have serious enough issues to stop running. (Note these are autos made before 2005) However, the test is at about 1/2 the expected EMP voltages and I doubt they are really pulsing a car in a full up EMP test range but doing some capacitive discharge pulse looking for upset. Upset testing is just the starting point and if you get upset at these values you will have significant chance of damage at a full pulse.

            I

        • by zookie (136959)

          It's a lot of reading, but the EMP commission report seems to be the most thorough review of the possible impacts of EMP.

          I read "One Second After" which paints the end-of-the-world scenario that the OP posits, and then I read the EMP Commission report. My impression was that the actual impact would be awful, but not as bad as the book proposes. The premise of "One Second After" is that almost everything is totally destroyed... all electronics, power, telecommunications, and modern transportation. In real

          • by bobbied (2522392)
            The destruction of the power generation and distribution infrastructure would be enough, which is my point. If you do a good job and destroy a 900 mile radius around Chicago, you could expect that the loop would be dark and the L not running for a long long time. So yes, we'd be back to about 1900 with in a few days and we'd stay there for a long time. It would be New Orleans after the storm, only larger and without all the extra water. It would quickly go from bad to worse once the looting finished bec
    • Tinfoil hat beats EMP 9 times out of 10 according to 19 of 20 conspiracy theorists.

      The trick is to electromagnetically harden your electronic against radiation. Key to this is to individually wrap electronics in tinfoil. For extra protection buy the heavy duty tinfoil.

  • by mbone (558574) on Monday July 09, 2012 @02:09PM (#40594423)

    Starfish Prime occurred during a sudden burst of testing between the lapse of an unofficial US-Soviet testing moratorium and the Limited Test Ban Treaty (1961-63). If the geopolitical winds had been a little different (i.e., if Khrushchev and Kennedy had respected each other and the French hadn't started testing in the Sahara), there might not have been any exo-atmospheric tests before the LTBT, and we wouldn't know about EMT.

    Makes you wonder if there are any other major effects we and the Soviets missed.

  • by ibsteve2u (1184603) on Monday July 09, 2012 @02:19PM (#40594509)
    The EMP "revelation" sold an awful lot of copper...anybody who was around "sensitive" technology in the military in the following couple of decades probably remembers grounding anything that didn't move...or, rather, wasn't moving at the time - and then grounding the grounds.
  • What goes shooting through the frame @ ~39 seconds into the video?

    • That's the Vogon Destructor ship that released the bomb. They think it's good for the crew's health to fly through the cloud after detonating one of these things.
  • Slightly offtopic but you won't be disappointed.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IE06ECcimb8 [youtube.com]

  • by anorlunda (311253) on Monday July 09, 2012 @03:50PM (#40595513) Homepage

    In the 1960s, Defense Secretary Mcnamara said that as few as three nuclear bombs exploded high above the USA could start every structure in North America on fire simultaneously. He was speaking to the point of how hard it would be to make effective defense. You might stop 3000 but if only 3 get through your day may still be ruined.

     

    • by phayes (202222)

      Mcnamara was prone to exaggeration, in this case wild exaggeration....

      • by Carnildo (712617)

        Technically, he was right. My back-of-the-envelope calculation says that you'll need three 500-gigaton bombs, but there's no upper limit to the size of a fusion bomb...

  • An awful lot of unforeseen things were learned that way. Way to go science!

  • by Greyfox (87712) on Monday July 09, 2012 @07:33PM (#40597717) Homepage Journal
    You kids don't know what you missed! Back in the day we used to just EXPLODE NUCLEAR DEVICES in the open air! Oh they'll say they were researching this or that, but the fact of the matter, it was just fun! We used to just take spheres of radioactive material and just poke at them! Mostly with sticks. Sometimes with our fingers. Back then, every chemistry set had a vial of mercury and a block of lead in it! Don't eat the lead now, kids! What's that? Oh... A chemistry set was an educational tool by which you could experiment with chemicals to teach yourself chemistry! They used to sell them in "Sears" -- kind of a proto-Walmartean store. I think you can still get them on that newfangled internet thing you're always going on about, but they're kind of lame now. Mostly just salt and food coloring at this point.

    Back in the day we used asbestos as construction material and dioxins as pesticides! We didn't wear helmets for anything! We just rode our bikes down hills with no helmets or anything! The only people you saw wearing helmets were motorcycle riders, and most of them only did it because it was the law! Funnily enough these days everything else requires helmets and motorcycling doesn't. Ahh how times change! Anywhoo back to the story!

    So there we were in this potentially highly toxic and dangerous environment, in a perpetual Mexican stand-off with the Soviets where one wrong twitch on either side could have destroyed the world. It's a wonder any of us survived to make a new generation. You know, "The Good Old Days!"

  • by gishzida (591028) <gishzida@@@gmail...com> on Monday July 09, 2012 @11:20PM (#40599031) Journal

    On this date in 1962 my father recorded the detonation and the resulting pulse from a "laboratory" he had set up in his suburban house in the San Fernado Valley {Northwest Los Angelews] The resulting paper "Distant Electromagnetic Observations of the High-Altitude Nuclear Detonation of July 9, 1962" was the only non-classified scientific paper which was published in The Journal of Geophysical Research about the pulse see: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/1963/JZ068i006p01781.shtml [agu.org]

    Some where around here I have a 35mm Strip chart negative of the detonation as recorded by the oscilloscope camera... I would donate the film to a university library for preservation but I have no idea who'd be interested in it. At 89 years old my dad now suffers from dementia and does not remember much about his days as a pocket protector / slip stick using Space Scientist / Engineer

It is wrong always, everywhere and for everyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. - W. K. Clifford, British philosopher, circa 1876

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