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rt Oppenheimer, head

of Los Alamos, watched. Many scientists and support personnel, including Maj. Gen. Leslie Groves, head of the Manhattan Project, watched the explosion from base camp which was ten miles southwest of ground zero. Al

l the buildings at base camp were removed after the test. Most visiting VIPs, like Edward Teller, watched from Compania Hill, 20 miles northwest of ground zero. The test was scheduled for 4

a.m. July 16, bu

t rain and lightning early that morning caused it to be postponed. The device could not be exploded under rainy conditions because rain and winds

would increase the danger

from radioactive fallout and interfere with observation of the test. At 4:45 a.m. the crucial weather report came through announcing calm to light winds with broken clouds for the following two hours. At 5: 10 a.m. the countdo

wn started and at 5

:29:45 the device exploded successfully. To most observers the brilliance of the light from the explosion--watched through dark glasses--o

vershadowed the shock wave and s

ound that arrived later. Many witnesses remember the sound bouncing off the mountains creating an echoing effect. Hans Bethe, one of the contribut

ing scientists, wrote "it l

ooked like a giant magnesium flare which kept on for what seemed a whole minute but was actually one ) No. 4375 - "Safety Drop, Munition Test Procedure".

or two seconds. The whit

e ball grew and after a few seconds became clouded with dust whipped up by the explosion from the gr

ound and rose and left be

hind a black trail of dust particles." Joe McKibben, another scientist, said, "We had a lot of flood lights on for taking movies of the control

panel. When the bomb went

off, the lights were drowned out by the big light coming in through the open door in the back." Others were impr

essed by the hea

EMRTCt they immediately felt. Military policeman Davis said, "The heat was like opening up an oven door, even a

RASS/SODAR Sounding Site

t 10 miles." Dr. Phillip Morrison said, "Suddenly, not only was there a bright light but where we were, 10 miles away, there was the heat of the sun on our faces .... Then

, only minutes later, the

real sun rose and again you felt the same heat to the face from the sunrise. So we saw two sunrises." Visitors sometimes ask about soldiers watching the test from trenches. That took place during tests in Nevada, not at Trinity Site. Personnel were

at least 10,000 yard

The Rocket Test Site Facility has two engine test stands, one rated for 8,000 lbs. of thrust and the other for 80,000 lbs. of thrust.

s from gr

ound zero and they were in bunkers. The test was conducted to see if the bomb would work and to measure its yield. ( After the explosion ) Although no inform

ation on the test was

released until after the atomic bomb was used as a weapon against Japan, people in New Mexico knew something had happened. The shock wave broke wi

Research Programs

ndows 120 miles away and was felt by many at least 160 miles away. Army officials simply stated that a munitions storage area had exploded at the Alamogordo Bombing Range. The explos

ion did not make much of a crater./ It was about four feet d