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100 Suns: 1945-1962
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"100 Suns" refers to J. Robert Oppenheimer's response to the first Los Alamos test of the atomic bomb, at which he famously quoted a description from the "Bhagavad Gita" - "a sun brighter than a thousand suns". This book photographically documents 100 US nuclear detonations from the 215 declared atmospheric nuclear tests conducted by the US between July 1945 and November 1962. After that date, the tests were conducted in the Nevada desert and on various islands in the Pacific. The book is divided between the desert and the ocean. The photographs have been gathered by Michael Light, who has drawn the material from the archives at Los Alamos and from the US National Archives in Maryland. This material was formerly classified but is now in the public domain. It includes photographs taken by the clandestine Lookout Mountain squad based in Hollywood, whose 250 producers, directors and cameramen together with 30 to 40 still photographers were sworn to secrecy. Each photograph is presented with the name of the test, its size in mega or kilotons, the date and the location. The pictures are taken at the moment of detonation, not during the aftermath.
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An awesome collection of 100 previously classified photographs of nuclear tests conducted by the US between 1945 and 1962, with detailed captions and chronology of the development of the nuclear bomb.

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About the Author

Michael Light is a photographer living in San Francisco. He has been an environmental lobbyist. His project Full Moon in conjunction with NASA was exhibited worldwide in 1999 and 2000. He is currently working on an aerial survey of the American West.

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