Nukes on Yemen-Confirming Proofs: Calculating Nuclear Blast Yield from the Flash

Measuring Nuclear Weapons Illuminating Time to Determine Yield

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By Jeff Smith, Editor

Editor’s note:  Flash and fireball are not the same.  The still below is of the May 5, 2013 Damascus attack.  A “flash” is an “event,” not a photographic subject.  We can confirm flash but analysis as to size of weapon requires more than “seat of the pants” guess work.  Suffice it to say, when there is a “flash” it is invariably a nuclear flash.  The run of “bad luck” victim nations have had of late, arms depots, imaginary chemical plants, bombs hitting invisible volcanos, these tales just don’t hunt.

 

Source: HQDA FM 3-12 “Operational Aspects of Radiological Defense”
Text in Square Brackets added by Cornelius Seon [76576,1330]

“As a field expedient, [nuclear weapon] yield may be estimated from the measurement of the illumination time of the burst, especially during hours of darkness or poor visibility [or out in space]. However, this method should be used ONLY if it is impossible to obtain cloud parameters [such as in Space] …, since this method only gives a yield estimate on the order of a factor of 10. Techniques for measuring illumination time time will vary, depending on the situation, but under NO circumstances should the observer attempt to look directly at the fireball, since this can result in permanent damage to the eyes.” [For the purposes of this file, Illumination Time is defined as that duration which occurs between the VISUAL start of an un-restrained Nuclear Reaction, and its VISUAL termination.

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Part of the problem with using Illumination Time to measure yield, is the fact that the reaction has already started, and has been continuing for some duration prior to its illumination, since the reaction starts when the device reaches Critical Mass, and the reaction continues after it loses illumination until it finally falls below Critical Mass. Another problem, is that in space – since it lacks an atmosphere which would “dampen” the fireball – there will be some lingering glow which will steadily falloff as the surrounding vacuum “cools” the remaining mass. This can be misinterpreted as part of the illumination, but it is not. Rather, it is residual Infra-Red Radiation which is broadcast by the mass as it cools.

Finally, there is the problem of the lack of gravity. Within a Gravitational Well, such as on a planet, especially when aided by an atmosphere, the fireball is contained in the shape of the mushroom cap. What escapes in a perfect globe, is the Blast Wave and the broadband radiation products of the blast itself. outside of a gravitational well, and an atmosphere, the fireball itself will continue to expand in the same manner as the Broadband Radiation [there would be NO Blast Wave in space – that effect is a function of the atmosphere], but at a slower rate, which is determined by the mass of the device itself. Further, it will dissipate as it expands, so a device will have to be really huge in order to have any effect as a weapon over any great distance, other than as a Radiation Weapon.

Nuclear Burst Illumination Time Yield Measurement Table
———————————————————————-
ILLUMINATION YIELD IN YIELD 
TIME KILOTONS INCREASE 
[SECONDS] +/- 2 KT [KT] KILOTONIC YIELD GRAPH 
———————————————————————–
LESS THAN 1 1 1 # 
1 2.5 1.5 ## 
2 10 7.5 ### 
3 22 12 ##### 
4 40 18 ###### 
5 60 20 ######## 
6 90 30 ######### 
7 125 35 ########### 
8 160 35 ############# 
9 200 40 ############## 
10 250 50 ################ 
12 325 75 ################## 
14 475 150 ###################### 
16 700 225 ########################## 
—————————————————————————-

Estimated Yield of nuclear explosion from illumination time (in kilotons and megatons)

Illumination Time (seconds) Yield

Less than 1 1 to 2 KT

1 2.5KT, 
2 10KT, 
3 22KT 
4 40KT 
5 60KT 
6 90KT 
7 125KT 
8 160KT 
9 200KT 
10 250KT 
12 325KT 
14 475KT 
16 700KT 
20 1MT 
24 1.5MT 
27 2MT 
40 5MT 
55 10MT 
75 20MT



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