“The Gadget”, a nuclear device part of Trinity, being prepared for its detonation



Craig Davies for Art-Sheep

70 years ago on July 16, 1945, the United States exploded the first atomic bomb in the New Mexican desert, near Alamogordo.

Beginning the nuclear age, the test, code-named “Trinity,” was a huge -literally huge, success,  unleashing an explosion with the energy of about 20 kilotons of TNT. It was the bomb that changed everything, with  nearly 2,000 nuclear tests having performed since then.

Jumbo, a 200-ton steel canister designed to recover the plutonium used in the Trinity test in the event that the explosives used were unable to trigger a chain reaction


Scientists and workmen rig the world’s first atomic bomb to raise it up into a 100-foot tower at the Trinity bomb test site


Director J. Robert Oppenheimer oversees final assembly of the Gadget at the Trinity test site


The expanding fireball and shockwave of the Trinity explosion, seconds after detonation

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Aerial view of the aftermath of the first atomic explosion


Sequence of photos, taken with an Army automatic motion picture camera six miles away as the first atomic bomb test was conducted

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