Blast from the past: the nuclear test ban treaty

By Rebecca Priestley In Science

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13th July, 2012
Fifty years ago this month, many Aucklanders witnessed an aurora, a spectacular display of lights caused by the interactions between charged particles and atoms in the Earth’s atmosphere. The New Zealand Herald described the aurora as an intense glow above the northern horizon that spread rapidly across the sky before “the luminous red band widened, and quivering white shafts of light could be seen within it”. Auroras are usually confined to much higher latitudes, but there was nothing usual about this aurora. On July 9, 1962, the United States had launched a 1.2-megaton hydrogen ...

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