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Explosion of a hydrogen balloon

Scott Butson, Stuart Pratt, Robert Watts

 

 

The explosion of this hydrogen-filled balloon produced its own light. The image of the flame and burning gases is blurred since the camera shutter was held open as the balloon exploded. The image of the ripping balloon was captured using a sound trigger and flash unit. Some movement in the balloon as a whole is seen, since it was also illuminated by the explosion. For safety purposes, the experimenters stood a long distance away and ignited the explosion with a lit candle taped to the end of a long stick. The explosion was confined to an area a few feet wide.

 

Since there were two light sources for this photo, it was necessary to balance the exposure for each source. The light from the flash unit was increased by raising the flash duration to about 1/10,000 second, which was about 4 times its minimum value. 

 

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Camera Nikon D1, 105 mm lens
Lens aperture f/16
Shutter (seconds) bulb
ISO 200
Image size (pixels) 2000 x 1312
Image resolution (dpi) 300
Trigger Sound
Flash Vivitar 283

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