Photos of nuclear weapons testing show the beauty and horror of war

It has been a very long time since the US or any of its allies tested nuclear weapons. Thousands and thousands of people saw firsthand the horrors that a nuclear weapon could unleash on a populace during WWII and since then the weapons have reminded in arsenals, but have not been used in war. The Atlantic has as series of photos that it has posted up showing what the testing of nuclear weapons and explosions looked like in the 50's and beyond.

Most of the photos were taken by the US when the government and scientists were testing the weapons and compared to the nuclear bombs we have in the arsenal today, any of the weapons exploded in these tests were mere babies. The two photos I have here are a couple of the more interesting ones in the slide show. This photo has been seen many times in different shows about war and the testing of nukes. This the first time I have really looked at the image though.

This is the result of a nuclear weapon detonated under water at Bikini Atoll in 1946. That black mark on the right side of the water column appears to be some sort of navy vessel. The other image here was taken from space after the explosion of a 400-kiloton nuclear bomb in the atmosphere 30 miles above the Pacific in 1962. The resulting cloud nearly dominates the entire Earth in this photo.

[via The Atlantic]