PRODUCT OF THE FIRST ATOMIC BOMB EXPLOSION
TRINITY SITE, TULAROSA BASIN, ALAMOGORDO,
SOCORRO COUNTY, NEW MEXICO, U.S.A.
Early in the morning on July 16, 1945, the first atomic bomb blast was detonated at the Trinity Site. The actual explosion produced a blast equivalent to eighteen thousand tons of TNT. The resulting fireball that scorched the desert formed a depressed crater 800 yards in diameter, glazed with a light olive green, glass-like substance where the sand had melted and solidified again. The following excerpt is from Time Magazine, Sept. 17, 1945: “Seen from the air, the crater itself seems (looks like) a lake of green Jade shaped like a splashy star, and set in a sere disc of burnt vegetation half a mile wide. From close up the lake is a glistening encrustation of blue-green glass 2,400 feet in diameter, formed when the molten soil solidified in air.” Chemical tests have confirmed that it is nearly pure melted silica with traces of Olivine, Feldspar, and other minerals which comprise the desert sand. The crater was buried for security reasons not long after the explosion and, as a result, Trinitite has remained relatively difficult to obtain. This material was, of course, collected many years ago. A copy of a one page report, taken from “Minerals of New Mexico”, S. A. Northrop (1959) is available covering Trinitite, and a copy of this information will be supplied with each sample ordered, if requested. Each specimen has the light olive green, glass-like, fused top surface, with interesting rounded form. The bottom of each piece exhibits the rough texture of the sandy desert surface, which remained untouched by the blast. While the Trinitite was highly radioactive in 1945 when it was formed, more than fifty years have passed and at the present time, the radioactivity is very low.
| AERIAL VIEW OF GROUND
EARLY MORNING - JULY 16, 1945
THE LOS ALAMOS PRIMER:
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