Mushroom Cloud

Trinity Test in color
The only existing color shot of the test

Although colored movies were taken of the Trinity test, they were of poor quality and have since deteriorated. This photograph, also showing the ravages of time, is the only existing color shot of the test. It was taken, surprisingly enough, by an amateur using his own camera. Jack Aeby, of H-6, was working at Trinity with Emilio Sergè studying delayed gamma rays. Sergè secured permission for Aeby to carry his camera to the site to record the group's activities. Came the test and, as Aeby says, 'it was there so I shot it.' The picture was taken from just outside Base Camp with a Perfex 33 camera using 33 mm film. The photograph provided the basis for the Theoretical Division's earliest calculations of the Trinity weapon's yield and was shortly confiscated by the Army and first published after the announcement was made of the bombing of Japan.