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To: Beck_isright
You may or may not know the answer to my question: what are those smoke lines at the left of the picture? I always wondered what they were since I first saw those blasts as a kid.
27 posted on 11/07/2003 7:56:53 PM PST by sully777
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To: sully777
They are smoke rockets launched before detonation. They provide a visual reference to the blast shock wave.
31 posted on 11/07/2003 7:57:39 PM PST by Monty22
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To: sully777
Didn't load the pic but at atmospheric tests rockets were simultaneously launched just slightly before detonation at known distances from the bomb. Later, on film, these could show where the shockwave was at X fractions of a second after detonation. Just more data.
36 posted on 11/07/2003 8:00:05 PM PST by FormerlyAnotherLurker
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To: sully777
You may or may not know the answer to my question: what are those smoke lines at the left of the picture? I always wondered what they were since I first saw those blasts as a kid.

They're intended to form a grid so that the size of the blast can be estimated.

58 posted on 11/07/2003 8:13:29 PM PST by Poohbah ("Would you mind not shooting at the thermonuclear weapons?" -- Major Vic Deakins, USAF)
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To: sully777
Those are rockets trailing smoke. Deformation of the vertical smoke trails allows one to measure the blast strength.
83 posted on 11/07/2003 8:24:59 PM PST by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: sully777
You may or may not know the answer to my question: what are those smoke lines at the left of the picture? I always wondered what they were since I first saw those blasts as a kid.

Smoke trails. They fired missiles right before the blast to make them so they could see how they moved to calibrate the shock wave models.

158 posted on 11/07/2003 9:07:42 PM PST by null and void
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To: sully777
The rockets are actually launched a mile or so behind the bomb. The shock wave causes refraction of the smoke trail image.

At least that's the way we did it in our high school physics club.
163 posted on 11/07/2003 9:14:58 PM PST by Dan Evans
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To: sully777
http://www.vce.com/atomictrails.html
169 posted on 11/07/2003 9:20:09 PM PST by LayoutGuru2 (Call me paranoid but finding '/*' inside this comment makes me suspicious)
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