Prometheus in the desert: from atom bombs to radio astronomy, New Mexico’s scientific legacy

At 5:29:45 AM the time came. A light greater than the sun lit the desolate mesa and mountains in hues of gold, purple, violet, gray, and blue. The shockwave rolled out and over the landscape; moments later and miles away, the scientists felt the heat against their faces. A blind woman 150 miles north of the blast asked, “What’s that brilliant light?” Beneath the cloud, molten sand rained back to earth. It coated the ground, cooling to glassy, translucent green.

Soon after, the sun rose over the desert.