The firs atomic bomb exploded on July 16, 1945, near Alamogordo, New Mexico. It produced an explosion equal to that of 17,000 tons of TNT. It was then dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. The fact that a single plane could deliver such a destructive device revolutionized warfare and ushered in the Atomic Age. The blast of an atomic bomb releases a large amount of explosive power. The blast waves move through air at speeds greater than the speed of sound. As they move away from the point of the explosion, they create high pressure in the atmosphere This pressure knocks down buildings and produces great destruction. In addition to the blast effect, the bomb produces a glowing ball of fire that may reach temperatures of millions of degrees. The radiant energy produces in the fireball travels out from point zero with the speed of light. It includes ultraviolet and infrared rays Atomic bombs emit radiation which are deadly. Radiation released at the time of the explosion is called prompt radiation and the type that is released after the blast is called delayed radiation, or fallout. Prompt radiation issues both neutrons and gamma rays (high energy rays similar to X rays). Fallout from an atomic bomb may occur swoon after the bomb explodes, or it may be delayed for weeks, months,or even years. When an atomic explodes near the earth's surface, dirt is sucked into the fireball This dirt becomes coated with radioactive fission fragments and is carried aloft in the bomb cloud. The radioactive debris drifts back to earth after the explosion. Some atomic bombs are detonated in the air. In such cases, very little dust rises into the fireball. But the radioactive fission fragments are swept up into the bomb cloud. Depending on the size of the explosion and the height to which the cloud rises, the fission fragment may be scattered in the troposphere, the lower air, or in the stratosphere, the upper air. Debris scatters in the troposphere descends to earth as fallout within a month after the blast. Stratospheric fallout may not fall to earth for years.