100 Suns

  • Title: 100 Suns
  • Author: Michael Light
  • ISBN: 9781400041138
  • Page: 431
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Suns Between July and November the United States is known to have conducted atmospheric and underwater nuclear tests After the Limited Test Ban Treaty between the United States and the Soviet
    Between July 1945 and November 1962 the United States is known to have conducted 216 atmospheric and underwater nuclear tests After the Limited Test Ban Treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union in 1963, nuclear testing went underground It became literally invisible but frequent the United States conducted a further 723 underground tests, the last in 19Between July 1945 and November 1962 the United States is known to have conducted 216 atmospheric and underwater nuclear tests After the Limited Test Ban Treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union in 1963, nuclear testing went underground It became literally invisible but frequent the United States conducted a further 723 underground tests, the last in 1992 100 Suns documents the era of visible nuclear testing, the atmospheric era, with one hundred photographs drawn by Michael Light from the archives at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the U.S National Archives in Maryland It includes previously classified material from the clandestine Lookout Mountain Air Force Station based in Hollywood, whose film directors, cameramen and still photographers were sworn to secrecy.The title, 100 Suns, refers to the response by J.Robert Oppenheimer to the world s first nuclear explosion in New Mexico when he quoted a passage from the Bhagavad Gita, the classic Vedic text If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst forth at once in the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds This was Oppenheimer s attempt to describe the otherwise indescribable 100 Suns likewise confronts the indescribable by presenting without embellishment the stark evidence of the tests at the moment of detonation Since the tests were conducted either in Nevada or the Pacific the book is simply divided between the desert and the ocean Each photograph is presented with the name of the test, its explosive yield in kilotons or megatons, the date and the location The enormity of the events recorded is contrasted with the understated neutrality of bare data Interspersed within the sequence of explosions are pictures of the awestruck witnesses The evidence of these photographs is terrifying in its implication while at same time profoundly disconcerting as a spectacle The visual grandeur of such imagery is balanced by the chilling facts provided at the end of the book in the detailed captions, a chronology of the development of nuclear weaponry and an extensive bibliography A dramatic sequel to Michael Light s Full Moon, 100 Suns forms an unprecedented historical document.

    • 100 Suns - Michael Light
      431 Michael Light
    • thumbnail Title: 100 Suns - Michael Light
      Posted by:Michael Light
      Published :2019-06-10T03:23:38+00:00

    About Michael Light


    1. Michael Light is a San Francisco based photographer and bookmaker focused on the environment and how contemporary American culture relates to it His work is concerned both with the politics of that relationship and the seductions of landscape representation He has exhibited extensively nationally and internationally, and his work has been collected by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Getty Research Library, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The New York Public Library, and the Victoria Albert Museum in London, among others.For the last fifteen years, Light has aerially photographed over settled and unsettled areas of American space, pursuing themes of mapping, vertigo, human impact on the land, and various aspects of geologic time and the sublime A private pilot, he is currently working on an extended aerial photographic survey of the inter mountain Western states, and in 2007 won a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in Photography to pursue this project Radius Books published the first of a planned multi volume series of this work, Bingham Mine Garfield Stack, in Fall 2009 The second, LA Day LA Night, will be released in Spring 2011.Light is also known for reworking familiar historical photographic and cultural icons with a landscape driven perspective by sifting through public archives His first such project, FULL MOON 1999 , used lunar geological survey imagery made by the Apollo astronauts to show the moon both as a sublime desert and an embattled point of first human contact His most recent archival project, 100 SUNS 2003 , focused on the politics and landscape meanings of military photographs of U.S atmospheric nuclear detonations from 1945 to 1962 20 editions of Light s books have been published globally since 1993.


    307 Comments


    1. Review cribbed from "The Alien Online" (not by me):The title refers to Robert Oppenheimer’s words after watching the first atomic weapons test in 1945. One of the fathers of the atom bomb, he said: ‘If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst forth at once in the sky, that would be like the splendour of the Mighty One…I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.’ Michael Light has taken him at his word; his book contains 100 pictures of – you guessed it – ‘suns’, the US milit [...]

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    2. This book is DISTURBING! And, I like it very much -- in fact it might be why I like it so much. The endnotes at the back of the book are the real payoff. The images are just presented with the bomb test code name, kiloton estimated yield, location, & date.You have to get through the book to get to the supporting info. Very effective. These are beautiful images BUT they are terrible at the same time.Nice primer on the basics of thermonuclear particle physics & radiation physical effects f [...]

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    3. This book is a great read for anyone who wishes to know the power and terrible beauty that is the history of US atmospheric and underwater nuclear testing.The set of 100 photographs are equally seperated into two groups: desert (Nevada) and ocean (the Pacific). The photos are labelled accroding to the codename designated by the US military. The names themselves do not have any relation to the nuclear wepon involved for that particular testing. Some of the names are chosen in a seemingly random f [...]

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    4. I love nuclear weapons. I'm fascinated by them. They can wipe out everything and leave a lingering poison that cleans up the rest. Except for the cockroaches, maybe. The capability to actually pull off apocalypto is what makes nuclear weapons so cool, better than any fictional apocalypse could possibly be. And its totally real. The instantaneous capability makes it much scarier than biological or nerve gas weapons. These latter are more likely to take more time and leave too many survivors, anim [...]

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    5. As terrible as a nuclear detonation can be, this book manages to capture the spectacle and beauty from the above-ground nuclear tests conducted at the Nevada Test Site and other detonation sites in the 50s and 60s. The book is a collection of 100 colour and B&W photos from the US National Archives and LANL of various detonations. Some are taken mere milliseconds after detonation and show fascinating detail. Others show the detonations with soldiers looking on. Aerial shots show the impressiv [...]

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    6. A collection of stunning photographs from the United States nuclear testing program, unretouched and unembellished. Includes an index with information on the test series, date and estimated yield of each detonation. The 100 photos are divided equally between the Nevada Test Site and the Pacific Ocean tests, and many feature the US soldiers who witnessed the explosions, some from dangerous proximity.These photographs provide beautiful, yet chilling testimony to the awesome destructive power of nu [...]

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    7. I saw the pictures in this book as an exhibit at my local art museum over a year ago. The images and the descriptions are so haunting I had to return to them. These photos were like the sore that would heal because I couldn't stop picking it. Mushroom clouds causing lightning storms and flipping over ships or the images of soldiers watching tests with expressions that run from wonder to horror are coupled with descriptions that tell you things like the light of the explosions were so bright that [...]

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    8. This is a very unusual book, even by picture book standards. It consists of 100 photographs of nuclear bursts. Some have the appearance of artwork, so it's good to keep in mind what you're looking it. A few show people in the foreground. In the early days of nuclear testing, the military made soldiers witness these events. The after effects must have been pretty nasty, even with protective clothing. I would call many of the photo spectacular. Hopefully, the last photographs of nuclear bursts hav [...]

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    9. Unexpected layout and it made no sense. Page after page of photos with the basics. Only at the end can you read about each test/photo, and only after that do you get to the timeline that makes sense of all of it. The timeline was the best part of the book and it was crammed into a few pages. Interspersing photos with details and chronology would have made a fascinating read.

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    10. The bizarre and threatening beauty of total devastation. The fact that some of these official army photographs make for beautiful art owes totally to the awe that only such a weapon of pure and complete death as thermonuclear bombs can provide. Worth a look, if only for the picture of the bomb that gave John Wayne and the rest of the cast & crew of The Conquerorterminal cancer.

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    11. An amazing collection of declassified photographs of nuclear tests from the 1950's into the 1960's. Detailed information on the outcome of each test. A most unique compilation of awesomely powerful detonations, with some even having an eerie beauty in the colors of their images.

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    12. A photo book of many atomic bomb tests. It's completely entrancing and disturbing and frightening. What we could have (and may yet) do to our pale blue dot of a home was an immediate version of the slow-motion ruination that climate change portends.

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    13. Beautiful amazing book!

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    14. Terrifying and beautiful.

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    15. 100 photos of nuclear detonations. These pictures are absolutely devastating. And I think that makes them all the more beautiful.

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    16. My blog Apples with Many Seeds includes a review of 100 Suns:applewithmanyseedsdoucette.blo

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    17. A collection of images showcasing the "mushroom-like" cloud left after a bomb is dropped. The destruction it brings leaves an almost calm beauty. eerie paradox.

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    18. If you enjoy nuclear weapons (and who doesn't), every photograph in this book is hypnotizing.

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    19. I wish I'd known about the detailed captions in the back of the book BEFORE.

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    20. Brilliant photos and surprisingly beautiful! No description of the science or anything, just the photos - very powerful!

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    21. Compelling viewing.

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    22. A pictorial history of US nuclear testing in the 1950s and 60s. Stunning and horrific at the same time, a really beautiful book.

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