APS News


Saw Flash Two Time Zones Away

In your description of the Trinity test ["This Month in Physics History", APS News July 2003] you wrote "... the blast created a flash of light that was seen over the entire state of New Mexico, as well as parts of Arizona, Texas and Mexico. ".

I believe I saw that flash in Georgia, 2,200 kilometers away. Here's my account taken from an unpublished manuscript prepared with the help of Arnold Kramish.

"In the summer of 1945, I was stationed at the Warner Robins Army Air Base, south of Macon GA. The base was crowded and for the summer, at least, I was sharing a tent with other junior officers. Early one morning, I stepped out of the tent, turned my back to the already hot sun and stretched; and I saw on the horizon a white flash against the dark western sky. I put that observation in the back of my mind and kept it there for many years; I can't really say why or how or even when (at least ten years ago) I came to think of it again.

"Taking into account the direction, the time of year, the time of day, the bluish white color and the short duration, I have become persuaded that the flash of light originated in the Trinity test. Warner Robins GA is about 2,200 kilometers very nearly due east of the Trinity test site and two time zones away."

Berol Robinson
Meudon, France

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