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Hey! The Arctic's a Blast!

Did you know that the largest bomb ever exploded on the planet Earth was exploded in the Arctic?

On October 30, 1961 a Soviet (now "Russian") bomber headed toward Novaya Zemlya Island, high above the Arctic Circle (Map) in the Russian Arctic. It carried "Tsar Bomba" (King of the Bombs), the largest thermonuclear bomb ever built and detonated.

It had the explosive power of 53 megatons (53 million tons of TNT) - more than ten times the power of all the bombs dropped during World War II, including the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima (15 kilotons) and Nagasaki (22 kilotons).

Click me! The drop was made over the Mityushikha Bay test range on Novaya Zemlya Island from a very high altitude, and the bomb exploded about 2 miles / 3 km above ground. A mushroom cloud from the explosion rose 40 miles / 65 km into the air and the flash was seen almost 600 miles / 1000 km away. The shockwave circled the Earth three times.

The testing of such a bomb by the Soviet Union (now Russia) was meant to intimidate the Americans at a time when there were tensions between the two countries. Although the U.S. had more accurate bombs, the Soviets wanted to show that they had bigger bombs.

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Double-click any unlinked word DICTIONARY: Just "double-click" any unlinked word on this page for the definition from Merriam-Webster's Student Electronic Dictionary at Word Central.
Arctic Library ARCTIC LIBRARY & GLOSSARY: Check this section for an index of the rest of the things you really need to know about the Arctic.
All sorts of Arctic Maps ARCTIC MAPS & WEATHER REPORTS: Maps of the Northwest Passage, explorers' routes, iceberg sources, Nunavut, the Arctic by treeline, temperature...
Links to related sites. ARCTIC LINKS: Even more information! Links to sites related to the Arctic and "Iceberg: the Story of the Throps and the Squallhoots".
A Guide to Arctic Sunrise and Sunset GUIDE TO ARCTIC SUNRISE & SUNSET: How much sunlight or darkness is there in the Arctic on each day of the year?

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