condensation cloud


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condensation cloud

A mist or fog of minute water droplets that temporarily surrounds the fireball following a nuclear (or atomic) detonation in a comparatively humid atmosphere. The expansion of the air inthe negative phase of the blast wave from the explosion results in a lowering of the temperature, so that condensation of water vapor present in the air occurs and a cloud forms. The cloud is soon dispelled when the pressure returns to normal and the air warms up again. The phenomenon is similar to that used by physicists in the Wilson cloud chamber and is sometimes called the cloud chamber effect.
References in periodicals archive ?
Wilson had a crater on the Moon named after him as well as the Wilson Condensation Cloud formations that occur after large explosions.
Nigel said: "That must have been the most perfect lift-off - the weather, the view, the sky and then the condensation cloud - it was just magical.
After a few minutes her impatient Saab, with skin the dense gloss of dirty oil, curved out and off in a wet dark blur, trailing condensation clouds.