On this day in 1979, operators at the U.S. missile warning center were shocked to see their displays light up with the ultimate horror: a full-scale Soviet nuclear attack bearing down on the United States. Unlike previous false warnings the operators had experienced, there was no mistaking the signatures of an all-out nuclear attack designed to destroy nuclear command centers, U.S. nuclear-armed bombers, and land-based missiles. Read more >
Latest Nuclear Weapons Posts
November 9, 2015 9:26 AM EDT
October 30, 2015 3:31 PM EDT
The Cuban Missile Crisis played out in the second half of October 1962. People generally know that it brought the world close to nuclear war but that in the end U.S. and Soviet leaders kept their heads and the world pulled through.
I remember as a young boy watching President Kennedy’s October 22 speech on our black and white TV set. I could tell from my parents’ reaction that things were bad. And essentially everything I’ve learned about the crisis since then has made me realize it was scarier than any of us realized. Read more >
October 5, 2015 5:50 PM EDT
The moon made headlines last week with the appearance of a so-called “super blood moon.” Several people I talked to, though, thought that name was a bit dramatic for what they actually saw in the sky.
But 55 years ago today, the moon was a star player in a short drama that could have justified that name. Read more >
September 23, 2015 10:53 AM EDT
Every day since Sept. 26, 1983 has to some extent been borrowed time. Read more >
September 16, 2015 9:00 AM EDT
Last week, the United States officially approved the Iran nuclear agreement when congressional opponents failed to round up the votes needed to stop it. The debate was often bitter and polarizing, and the vote in the Senate was divided strongly along partisan lines.
But here is something everyone should be able to agree on: scientists played a highly prominent role in this agreement, befitting the complex, technical nature of the subject. Read more >