The first atomic bomb was detonated on July 16, 1945, on top of a steel tower at the Trinity test site at the Alamogordo Air Base, 120 miles south of Albuquerque in New Mexico, USA. The site was then the USAAF Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range and is now part of White Sands Missile Range. The flash of atomic light was visible 400 miles away.
A fireball one mile in diameter mushroomed a cloud to 40,000 feet, a quarter of a mile crater was formed, and the surface of the desert fused into glass for 800 yards around the blast site. Reflecting back on this moment, J. Robert Oppenheimer, the head of the Los Alamos Laboratory that developed the bomb and named the test “Trinity” after the poetry of John Donne, said that it brought to mind words from the Hindu holy book the Bhagavad Gita: “Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” Continue reading.