|Tsar Bomba, the King of Bombs|
The plane climbed high and dropped Tsar Bomba over the Mityushikha Bay test site, which was on the western coast of Novaya Zemlya Island. Scientists had calculated that the bomb would burst at 13,000 feet, well above the ground, hopefully reducing damage. But they were wrong.
|Fireball from the Tsar Bomba explosion|
The blast from the explosion was both bright and hot. The blast was seen from over 621 miles away and the pressure below the inferno was six times greater than the peak pressure of the atomic bomb felt at Hiroshima. One tester, who was 168 miles away, felt the thermal burst from the explosion.
From the Nuclear Weapons Archive, a cameraman on the plane described the explosion:
The clouds beneath the aircraft and in the distance were lit up by the powerful flash. The sea of light spread under the hatch and even clouds began to glow and became transparent. At that moment, our aircraft emerged from between two cloud layers and down below in the gap a huge bright orange ball was emerging. The ball was powerful and arrogant like Jupiter. Slowly and silently it crept upwards.... Having broken through the thick layer of clouds it kept growing. It seemed to suck the whole earth into it. The spectacle was fantastic, unreal, supernatural.
Reports from around the test site were astounding. One observer reported seeing a bright, white flash on the horizon, followed by a low and heavy rumble. They described it as if the earth "had been killed."
At a settlement 435 miles away, a shock wave from the blast was felt. At another one 559 miles aways, glass in the windows were either cracked or broken. In the town Severny, a mere 34 miles away, every building was destroyed. People 120 miles from the blast site reported third degree burns. The temperature at the epicenter of the blast reached 1 million degrees Celsius. In dozens of other towns and villages spread out from ground zero, houses and buildings were destroyed and radio signals were lost for well over an hour.
All bombs create a disturbance when detonated, where they release radioactive atoms and electrons in a blast into the high atmosphere. The explosion of Tsar Bomba created a disturbance to the atmosphere that circled the globe three times.
The mushroom cloud rose into the sky an astounding 210,000 feet and created an earthquake that registered a 5.0.
The Russians had succeeded in creating a sun on the earth.
The explosion was captured on camera. Here is the amazing footage. (If you can't view the video on your device, then click here.)