Wondering about wild grapes

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wondering about H-bombs in space & new painting.

I watched a program on TV last night that sure did surprise me. It was all taking place just after I graduated from high school and the final test was the summer after my first year in college. That was a long time ago; I graduated high school in 1961. What am I talking about? It started with the Russians exploding a hydrogen bomb in the upper atmosphere. So as not to be outdone, the US decided to detonate a much larger bomb, a 1.4+ mega ton, in the Van Allan belt which was just recently discovered and confirmed by Dr. James Van Allan in 1858. Dr. Van Allan was notified and was asked to let them know within three weeks if it was safe to detonate such a large bomb in the radiation belt that he had discovered. Since they were going to do it anyway and he had no idea what would happen, he told them it was OK.

The results were a heavenly light show, very similar to the northern lights only south over Hawaii. The street lights went out in Honolulu, near by satellites were destroyed, and a new “Van Allen Belt” was created that took over two years to dissipate.

I knew nothing about these tests, the Russian tests, nor the many other atom bomb tests in the upper atmosphere. The atom bombs were a lot weaker than the hydrogen bombs, so didn’t make much of a show. Maybe at that age I just didn’t listen to the news or read the papers much. I was interested in other things, weren’t you at that age? Heck, I had enough trouble just trying to squeeze in my studies.

Google “starfish prime” and see what all you can find. Here are some links I found:

and of course Wikipedia.com has info on it.

The major powers in the world at that time sure did some scary and dangerous things that could have done irreversible damage to the earths delicate balance to the end of the life / inhabitable system in which we live.

OK, change of subject. I completed a painting yesterday. I always wanted to try a night view painting. As you know, I love looking at the sky with or without a telescope. I tried to get the night sky and the moon to look similar to what it really does. This was my first attempt using black gesso. Had a lot of trouble with the darker colors fading into the black. Sure was a learning experience. Let me know what you think of it and any suggestions would be appreciated.

You all have a great day now, you hear?


  1. I like the Moon painting, especially the detail of the Moon Surface. My only comment is, in real life do you see the colors on Earth as vibrant as you depict in your painting? But I'm no expert so what do I know? :-)

  2. May i have it? And ignore the above, he always has the negative. It's a painting, doesn't have to be real life colors.

  3. These are the same guys who tested the first A bomb, not sure if it would ignite the atmosphere or not.

    Makes one wonder what other dodgey experiments are going on right now.

  4. Looks like something you might see out in the desert somewhere on a cold, clear winter night. Except of course the water would be sand and sage brush.

  5. Ben, Thanks for the comment. In some cases you do, depending on the moisture and pollution in the air. I tried to get the stars right, too. Did you see the constalation Casiopia to the left.

    Trouble, glad you liked it. The yellow was a bit too much, you normally see shades of grey and white.

    6beaars, You are right, except this was the first time the military asked Van Allan's oppinion. The A-bombs where a lot weaker.

    Anon, I was going to have sand and cactii but then decided it would be better with the reflection on the water.