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Mud-laden explosion cloud
Mud-laden explosion cloud

Operation Hurricane was the first test of a British atomic device, detonated on 3 October 1952 in the lagoon in the Montebello Islands in Western Australia. During the Second World War, Britain commenced a nuclear weapons project, known as Tube Alloys, but the 1943 Quebec Agreement merged it with the American Manhattan Project. Several key British scientists worked on the Manhattan Project, but after the war the Americans ended cooperation. In January 1947, a cabinet sub-committee decided to resume efforts to build nuclear weapons. To test the effects of a ship-smuggled atomic bomb on a port (a threat of concern to the British at the time), the bomb was exploded inside the hull of a frigate, HMS Plym, leaving a saucer-shaped crater on the seabed 6 metres (20 ft) deep and 300 metres (1000 ft) across. With the success of Operation Hurricane, Britain became the third nuclear power, after the United States and the Soviet Union. (This article is part of a featured topic: Nuclear weapons and the United Kingdom.)

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Acarapi in 2020
Acarapi in 2020

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Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba in January 2022
Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba

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October 3

Wally Schirra
Wally Schirra
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Main hall of the Ujigami Shrine
Main hall of the Ujigami Shrine

There are 42 entries of shrine structures designated as National Treasures of Japan. The term "National Treasure" has been used in Japan to denote certain cultural properties since 1897. The number of Shinto shrines in Japan today has been estimated at more than 150,000, with single-structure shrines being the most common. Shrine buildings might also include oratories, purification halls, offering halls called heiden (between honden and haiden), dance halls, stone or metal lanterns, fences or walls, torii, and other structures. Shrine structures were designated national treasures when the Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties was implemented on June 9, 1951. As such they are eligible for government grants for repairs, maintenance, and the installation of fire-prevention facilities and other disaster-prevention systems. The shrine structures designated as national treasures date from the 12th-century Classical Heian period (example pictured) to the early modern 19th-century Edo period. (Full list...)

Today's featured picture

La Navarraise

La Navarraise is an opera in two acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Jules Claretie and Henri Caïn, based on Claretie's short story La cigarette (1890).

Photograph credit: Reutlinger family; restored by Adam Cuerden

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