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    Photobomb

    During a November 2020 experiment at the Nevada National Security Site, researchers detonated a 14-sided device that resulted in a spiked fireball and pyramidal shock wave.

    By Whitney Spivey | December 13, 2021

    Photobomb Fireball
    Los Alamos National Laboratory

    If an explosive is detonated on the ground, the resulting shockwave and fireball typically appear hemispherical. However, during a November 2020 experiment at the Nevada National Security Site, researchers detonated a 14-sided device that resulted in a spiked fireball and pyramidal shockwave. “Shockwave collisions within the device resulted in focused high-temperature jets—fireballs—directed from the center of each face,” explains Steven Pemberton of Los Alamos National Laboratory, which led the experiment. “This led to the apparent asymmetry in the photo.”

    Photobomb Before
    The device before detonation.