Nuclear Weapons

How hot is a nuclear explosion?

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2015-10-04 07:22:40

The explosion itself is not the source of the heat emitted from

a nuclear detonation. Instead the heat is the source of the

explosion. Compare this with thunder following a lightning strike.

In the nuclear bomb temperatures of about 20 million degrees

fahrenheit are produced causing the emission of x-rays which

ionizes the air preventing any more light or IR emission until the

bomb cools enough that it no longer is emitting x-rays. In

lightning the temperature of the ionized conducting air channel is

only about 90000 degrees fahrenheit.

As to the temperature of things around the fireball from a

nuclear detonation, directly beneath the fireball temperatures can

reach about 7000 degrees fahrenheit. To give an example by

which to compare this heat, free flowing magma, or melted rock,

averages a high of 4000 degrees fahrenheit.

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