Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Trinity 69 Years Ago Today

Sixty-nine years ago today the Atomic Age officially began with Trinity and the course of human history was forever altered. Under the raw footage below these words are much more profound words about that fateful day 69 years ago which you really must read. They are by a friend of mine who is an aficionado of that entire episode of history whose passion comes out in this wonderful piece of writing. It is everything I strive for in my own writing but rarely achieve: short and sweet!

July 16, 1945. 5:29 a.m.

We are approaching the end of World War II. A war that has cost 55 million lives globally & introduced some of the most inhumane events to the history of humankind.

Japan is now encircled & being bombarded by the... American Navy. Okinawa has fallen at the cost of 12,000 American, 100,000 Imperial Japanese, & 100,000 civilian Okinawan lives.
2.1 billion dollars has been spent on the Manhattan Project, based upon the idea that splitting the nucleus of an atom will release such tremendous energy that, if enough atoms are split in a chain reaction, one bomb could destroy an entire city. A single bomb.

On July 16, all of the key players—Dr. Oppenheimer, Dr. Fermi, General Groves, etc.--are gathered at the Trinity Test Site near Alamogordo, New Mexico. The countdown begins. At zero, the test bomb detonates atop a tower there in the desert.

At 16 microseconds (16 thousandths of a second), this photo is captured on film. The explosion is already 400 feet wide & spreading at an impossible pace. The center of the explosion is as hot as the sun. It is equally as bright throughout this area of New Mexico. As the nuclear explosion casts off such a bright flash that it turns night into midday, it is documented that a blind woman, 150 miles away, asks, "What's that brilliant light?"

The tower beneath the atomic bomb disintegrates & the white sand throughout the area melts to green glass, now called Trinitite. Watching the growing ball of flame, Dr. Oppenheimer murmurs a line from the Bhagavad Gita: "NOW I AM BECOME DEATH; THE DESTROYER OF WORLDS."
World War II will be over in 29 days.

Science has demonically but successfully united with government & military. For his role in the Manhattan Project, Oppenheimer would be nicknamed "The American Prometheus." (Prometheus was the Greek god who introduced fire to mankind before we were ready for it.) It was Oppenheimer who code-named the Trinity Test after a line from the poem by John Donne: “Batter my heart, three-personed God.”

Now here's the rest of the story:

The planet Uranus was 1.8 billion miles from earth in July of 1945. Light travels at a speed of 186,000 miles per second. It takes 9,677 seconds, or 161 minutes, for light to travel between the two planets.

The U.S.S. Indianapolis, bound for the island of Tinian & loaded with enriched Uranium & Plutonium for the Hiroshima & Nagasaki bombs, respectively, has left port from Hunter’s Point, San Francisco. She crosses the San Francisco Bay & is passing beneath the Golden Gate Bridge & entering the Pacific Ocean at 7:11 a.m. local time, July 16, 1945.

This is 161 minutes after the apex of the Trinity Test.
At precisely this moment, as the tragically--fated USS Indianapolis is bringing hell to the Pacific Theater, the light from the Trinity Test would be reaching Uranus. The planet Uranus, after which "Uranium" is named.

The Atomic Age has begun. 

By Andy Piantanida

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