Do nuclear bombs explode on the ground or in the air?

Do nuclear bombs explode on the ground or in the air?

Nuclear explosions are generally classified as air bursts, surface bursts, subsurface bursts, or high altitude bursts. a. Air Bursts. An air burst is an explosion in which a weapon is detonated in air at an altitude below 30 km but at sufficient height that the fireball does not contact the surface of the earth.

What happens if a nuclear blows up in the air?

If a nuclear weapon is exploded in a vacuum-i. e., in space-the complexion of weapon effects changes drastically: First, in the absence of an atmosphere, blast disappears completely. There is no longer any air for the blast wave to heat and much higher frequency radiation is emitted from the weapon itself.

Can a nuclear bomb be destroyed in air?

Still, there do exist countermeasures that could destroy a nuclear missile before it reaches its target and detonates. So, when these anti-ballistic missiles hit nuclear missiles in the air, do the latter explode and cause a nuclear explosion? Short answer: It’s very unlikely.

How big is the air burst in a nuclear bomb?

Nuclear weapons. The air burst is usually 100 to 1,000 m (330 to 3,280 ft) above the hypocenter to allow the shockwave of the fission or fusion driven explosion to bounce off the ground and back into itself, creating a shockwave that is more forceful than one from a detonation at ground level.

When is a nuclear bomb scheduled to detonate?

They detonate when they are scheduled to detonate. If you want an air burst the weapon can be set to detonate at the precise altitude. If you want a ground burst or a subterranean burst, the weapon can be set to detonate for either. The ability to control the detonation of a bomb has existed since World War II.

What happens when a nuclear bomb hits the ground?

On the ground causes far more radioactivity dust to be thrown up into the sky, but has a smaller area of destruction from the explosion. The radioactivity could kill more people overall depending on the direction of the wind and how many people are downwind. The air burst would initially kill more people who are “line of sight” from the bomb.

How is a nuclear explosion different from an atmospheric explosion?

Differences from atmospheric tests. In general, nuclear effects in space (or very high altitudes) have a qualitatively different display. While an atmospheric nuclear explosion has a characteristic mushroom-shaped cloud, high-altitude and space explosions tend to manifest a spherical ‘cloud,’ reminiscent of other space-based explosions…