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Untitled ("Ivy Mike" Nuclear Test)

Accession Number
2000/2.129

Title
Untitled ("Ivy Mike" Nuclear Test)

Artist(s)
American

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date
1952

Medium & Support
chromogenic print on paper

Dimensions
11 ⅝ in x 19 1/16 in (29.53 cm x 48.42 cm);16 in x 20 in (40.64 cm x 50.8 cm);11 9/16 in x 14 ½ in (29.37 cm x 36.83 cm);11 9/16 in x 19 1/16 in (29.37 cm x 48.42 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of The Morris and Beverly Baker Foundation, in memory of Morris D. Baker, a graduate of The University of Michigan School of Architecture, 1952

Subject matter
Created from inside a US military airplane, this photograph depicts the detonation of the first hydrogen bomb ever created. Dwarfing the clouds around it, the mushroom cloud characteristic of nuclear explosions surges upwards with terrifying force. The 10.4 mega-ton yield explosion was created on the small sandy island of Elugelab, in the Eniwetok Atoll in the South Pacific. Codenamed “Ivy Mike,” the US military detonated the device on November 1st, 1952 at 7:15am. In the aftermath of the test, the tiny island was found to have been completely vaporized, leaving a submerged crater over a mile across and nearly two hundred feet deep.  Estimated to be over a thousand times more powerful than an atomic blast, this device’s successful detonation marks humanity’s ability to achieve unprecedented destructive potential, and signals the impending escalation of nuclear armaments between the US and the USSR during the Cold War.   

Physical Description
This photograph depicts a mushroom cloud from a hydrogen bomb explosion rising over other clouds and an ocean below.

Primary Object Classification
Photograph

Collection Area
Photography

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
aerial photographs
atolls
bomb
clouds
destruction (process)
explosions
military photography
nuclear bombs
nuclear radiation
nuclear test sites
oceans
sky