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A stellar explosion

Between 2002 and 2006, the Hubble telescope took photos of an explosion coming from a red variable star in the constellation Monoceros, about 20,000 light years from the Sun. This is a time-lapse video of those photos.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jun 12, 2014 - 36 comments

Exploding Sperm Whale

A sperm whale, which died of natural causes off the Faroe Islands, explodes .
posted by R. Mutt on Nov 27, 2013 - 78 comments

Sky Doom - the Return?

Remember the Chelyabinsk meteor that exploded over Russia earlier this year, injuring hundreds and giving us dozens of spectacular dashcam videos? It may have friends.
posted by Artw on Aug 6, 2013 - 52 comments

ring of fire

A truck carrying 119 gas cylinders caught fire after colliding with a bus carrying 28 people on Moscow's Ring Road. The truck driver had minor injuries and everyone else escaped unharmed. Then the cylinders began exploding.
posted by stbalbach on Jul 15, 2013 - 58 comments

Russian rocket explodes in Kazakhstan

Russian rocket explodes after launch in Kazakhstan.    More photos and video (Russian). [more inside]
posted by stopgap on Jul 2, 2013 - 46 comments

The Most Canadian Story Ever

Truck carrying fireworks hits moose on Trans-Canada Highway, shuts down road for 5.5 hours and lights up the sky. (pictures and video, driver and passenger unharmed.)
posted by The Whelk on Jun 8, 2013 - 61 comments

Baltimore Train Derailment

A train derailed after hitting a truck near Baltimore yesterday. TV news / Raw helicopter footage and citizens on the scene. (NSFW Audio and explosion is about a minute or so in)
posted by josher71 on May 29, 2013 - 43 comments

Major explosion rocks West, Texas

A massive fireball and explosion has happened at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas (just north of Waco). Hundreds of injuries are being reported. [more inside]
posted by item on Apr 17, 2013 - 414 comments

Light Travelling Faster Than Sound

"Most films of nuclear explosions are dubbed. If they do contain an actual recording of the test blast itself.........it's almost always shifted in time so that the explosion and the sound of the blast wave are simultaneous. This is, of course, quite false: the speed of light is much faster than the speed of sound....." Unearthed recently from some Russian archive, this document of a nuclear detonation is one of the few films of its kind that includes a recording of the audio. The sound is not what you might expect.
posted by shackpalace on Jan 26, 2013 - 46 comments

"...it's always good for a scientist to be proven wrong..."

Professor Martyn Poliakoff of Periodic Table Videos fame learns something about burning balloons full of hydrogen via high speed camera footage.
posted by loquacious on Jan 11, 2013 - 34 comments

Many feared the Germans had attacked.

The last survivor of the 1917 Halifax Explosion is believed to have died in 2010. Today, on the 95th anniversary of the accident, those who came after share how the legacy of history's largest detonation of conventional explosives has affected their lives. [previously]
posted by 256 on Dec 6, 2012 - 5 comments

The self-made man

Nearly a decade ago, Sun Jifa lost his hands in a fishing-related explosion (he was building a bomb for blast-fishing). He soon realized that he couldn't afford the prosthetic hands recommended by the hospital. Undeterred, he decided to build his own bionic hands. Eight years later...
posted by unSane on Aug 17, 2012 - 46 comments

You never know; this could be valuable information one day!

How many rubber-bands does it take to make a watermelon explode? [slyt] [via]
posted by quin on Jul 21, 2012 - 63 comments

A Nuclear Group of Observers

NPR show us and tells the story of five men who agreed to stand directly below and observe a nuclear explosion.
On July 19, 1957, five Air Force officers and one photographer stood together on a patch of ground about 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas. They'd marked the spot 'Ground Zero. Population 5' on a hand-lettered sign hammered into the soft ground right next to them.

posted by gilrain on Jul 18, 2012 - 42 comments

Things go BOOM!

Devastating Explosions, at the Touch of a Button
posted by EvaDestruction on Dec 9, 2011 - 73 comments

Explosion in downtown Oslo

A big explosion occurred in downtown Oslo near the goverment building. Cause unknown so far, reports of injured and lots of broken windows. [more inside]
posted by palbo on Jul 22, 2011 - 1302 comments

The Sun lets loose a HUGE explosion

The Sun lets loose a HUGE explosion
posted by Anything on Jun 7, 2011 - 74 comments

"Slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God."

Challenger . . . . go with throttle up. Twenty-five years ago today the U.S. Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds into the 25th space shuttle flight. The reports (pdf) tell us of O-Ring failures. Today, we remember one of the most tragic days in the history of the U.S. manned spaceflight program. Today, January 28, 2011, we remember: Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe.
posted by IvoShandor on Jan 28, 2011 - 100 comments

Pike River Mine Disaster

New Zealand Police announced this afternoon that they believe that all 29 miners missing at Pike River are now presumed dead. After several days of raised and dashed hopes, a second explosion at the coal mine has devasted hopes that the miners could possibly be alive.
posted by chairish on Nov 23, 2010 - 88 comments

WV Mine Explosion

7 Dead, 19 Missing "The Mine Safety and Health Administration, or MSHA, has cited the Upper Big Branch Mine for hundreds of violations in recent years, including 10 so far this year related to legal requirements for ventilation systems to control methane and dust. The company has contested numerous fines, including two in January totaling more than $130,000 related to mine ventilation."
posted by wv kay in ga on Apr 5, 2010 - 57 comments

The New London School Explosion

One spring afternoon more than 70 years ago, an East Texas teacher turned on an electric sander. The subsequent explosion caused the New London School to lift into the air and then smash into the ground, ultimately leaving some 300 students and teachers dead in the rubble. It remains the worst school disaster in American history. [more inside]
posted by SpringAquifer on Feb 23, 2010 - 21 comments

Sands of time

Sand castle explosions backwards: 1, 2 [more inside]
posted by twoleftfeet on Dec 16, 2009 - 23 comments

Nitroglycerin in the Pennsylvania oil fields

From The Titusville Morning Herald of June 17, 1866, "Our attention has been called to a series of experiments that have been made in the wells of various localities by Col. Roberts, with his newly patented torpedo. ... The torpedo... is lowered into the well, down to the spot, as near as can be ascertained, where it is necessary to explode it. ... The object of the torpedo is to clean out all the deposits at the bottom of the well."
In the western Pennsylvania oilfields of the second half of the 1800s, "shooters" were men who set off nitroglycerin charges in wells to get the oil flowing again. Tales of Destruction relates stories and legends of this absurdly hazardous job. Additional notes here, in Samuel Pees's Oil History. (Previously)
posted by tss on Nov 5, 2009 - 4 comments

Bringin' 'em down. Or, over.

From Sheffield, England to Yongbyon, North Korea, nuclear plant cooling towers are coming down! And pretty much without a hitch. Things didn't go quite so well, though, for an old flour factory in Turkey, which just rolled over onto its roof. D'oh!
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 1, 2009 - 34 comments

22 de Abril no se olvida

17 years ago, On Wednesday, April 22, 1992, the 461-year old city of Guadalajara, Mexico, experienced a series of ten massive explosions occurring in the heart of the downtown Reforma district. The blasts measured 7.1 and 7.0 on the Richter scale at the University of Mexico in Mexico City some 200 miles away. The disastrous series of sewer gasoline explosions in Guadalajara, though not caused by a terrorist attack, demonstrate the potential impact of a well-planned and executed terrorist attack using a city’s sewer lines. At least 200 people where killed. [more inside]
posted by dirty lies on Apr 22, 2009 - 15 comments

"Can you really knock off someone's socks?"

KaBOOM! This past Friday, the MythBusters exploded 500 pounds of ammonium nitrate (25% of the same material used in the Oklahoma City bombing,) at a rock quarry in Yolo County, CA for an upcoming episode. But the explosion was apparently a wee bit bigger than they expected. It shattered windows in nearby Esparto and was large enough to be picked up as a "small event" ground tremor by National Geographical Survey sensors. Which myth were they busting, you ask? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 26, 2009 - 73 comments

Making bubbles in the pool

Got some dry ice? Got a swimming pool? Well, what are you waiting for? Inquisitive dogs will be confused! Start with a small chunk. Next, take a 60-pound block of dry ice and kick it into the jacuzzi. Okay, so you're looking for more of a thrill? Try a dry ice depth charge! (If you don't have a pool, a frozen lake will do.)
posted by not_on_display on Feb 23, 2009 - 68 comments

Atomic explosions

Atomic and nuclear explosions. [more inside]
posted by swift on Oct 15, 2008 - 77 comments

Something exploded over and under Lake Huron near the US/Canadian border. Nobody knows what it was.

Something exploded over and under Lake Huron near the US/Canadian border on July 31, 2008. Nobody knows what it was. Initial published reports identified the cause as a meteor shower (without attribution). A week later more details emerged and meteors were ruled out. So what was it? [more inside]
posted by maxpower on Aug 14, 2008 - 52 comments

boom

A large series of explosions erupted this morning from a welding chemical storage facility in North York (a suburb of Toronto) at approximately 4am EST. The highway 401, North America's busiest, has been closed in sections, and thousands of local residents are still being evacuated, with several of them injured. Police and fire officials are currently not sure of the possibility of further explosions and are taking precautionary measures. The whole situation has produced some apocalyptic-looking pictures.
posted by tehloki on Aug 10, 2008 - 39 comments

KA-BOOM!!!!

The Tunguska Event. A century ago, something exploded over Russia... [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jul 1, 2008 - 22 comments

Nostalg-afire Explosion

Searching for animatronics that'll take you out and do you right? Long beyond their glory days, renowned Showbiz Pizza house band, The Rock-afire Explosion, is attempting a comeback. Not that they haven't tried before, but this reunion is driven on multiple fronts: the refocussed creator Aaron Fletcher, the head (and tail) of Creative Engineering; accomplished custom performances by Chris Thrash (previously on Metafilter) and his fellow fan programmer/collectors; and a cameo in the technicolor orgy of an MGMT music video. (Noticed on the fittingly titled Gorilla vs. Bear.) [more inside]
posted by pokermonk on Jun 7, 2008 - 27 comments

I love arachnids! I love hot magma!

Feel good hit of the year; Discovery Channel's 'I Love the Whole World' ad [more inside]
posted by oxford blue on Apr 19, 2008 - 103 comments

With apologies to Mrs. B.J. Smegma of 13, The Cresent, Belmont.

Controlled Safety Test Fireworks Videos : 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
posted by Dave Faris on Mar 20, 2008 - 35 comments

20,000 Pounds of Sodium Dumped in a Lake

A rather interesting post WW II video of metallic sodium being disposed of in a lake. You might have seen this on a small scale back in high school chemistry class when the teacher put a tiny sliver of sodium in a bowl of water.
posted by polysigma on Nov 1, 2007 - 47 comments

Ron Howard's Directorial Debut

The first Grand Theft Auto.
posted by potch on Oct 9, 2007 - 28 comments

Dallas had explosive gas this morning.

A bunch of natural gas canisters blew up near downtown Dallas today. Eyewitness video!
posted by punkfloyd on Jul 25, 2007 - 94 comments

"All guilty had been punished already."

The Nedelin disaster remains the most fatal catastrophe in the history of rocketry. On October 26, 1960 an R-16 ICBM designed by Mikhail Yangel accidentally ignited killing over 100 within moments. The incident remained in strict secrecy for thirty years until it was unearthed by James Oberg. The true casualty rate remains a mystery and Kazakhstan still sees more than its fair share of rocket mishaps.
posted by Alison on Aug 31, 2006 - 16 comments

PV=nRT: It's not just a good idea....

200 liters of condensed liquid nitrogen (LN2) were delivered to Berkeley’s Condensed Matter Lab this past Monday. Sent to retrieve the 400lb dewar from the loading dock but faced with a non-working elevator, an enterprising young lab student decided to carry it down the stairs. Gravity is a harsh mistress.

If things had turned out differently, they could have been scraping his remains off the walls with a spatula. At Texas A&M in January a lab was badly damaged when someone ignored the Ideal Gas Law, removed the pressure valve and rupture disk off an old (LN2) tank and filled the remaining holes with metal plugs. "How to Tell a True Lab Story" talks about a similar incident. LN2 is good for more than just blowing up a school (or, um a watermelon), though: Spanish Chef Ferran Adrià uses it to create dishes at his restaurant. Previously on MeFI: How to make LN2 ice cream (careful!) and unwise science experiments.
posted by zarq on Aug 18, 2006 - 27 comments

Paint splash towerblock!

A splash of urban colour! A dilapidated tower block in Glasgow was the setting for a riotous splash of colour this week as Sony followed up their previous Bravia tv campaign of the bouncing balls down the streets of San Francisco with a new advert using a disused towerblock in Glasgow. Some beautiful urban explosion pics here, here, here, here and here.
posted by ClanvidHorse on Jul 26, 2006 - 20 comments

The Day Vegas Shook

The Day Las Vegas Shook What were you doing at 11:45am on May 4, 1988? If you were a resident of southern Nevada, you'd remember. That was the day rocket fuel factory PEPCON was wiped off the map in a series of 7 explosions, two of which measured 3.0 and 3.5 on the Richter scale. The explosions sent shockwaves across the valley, taking with it marshmellow cream from the marshmellow factory next door, denting garage doors miles away, and shattering damn near every window in Henderson. As the valley's 500,000 residents stood outside wondering what caused the explosion and the massive plume of smoke, many speculated the Russians had inexplicably attacked Henderson. Miraculously, only two people died. PEPCON never operated another day in Nevada and moved to Utah.
posted by b_thinky on Mar 4, 2006 - 37 comments

British Oil Depot Fire

Huge explosion rocks UK countryside. Police say the oil depot explosion appears to be an accident, even though Al-Qaeda called for attacks on the oil industry just a few days ago. (As usual, the media feels the need to report this, even though Al-Qaeda was speaking of Gulf oil targets, and nothing of this scale could have been implented in just a few days)
Some pictures: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
posted by empath on Dec 11, 2005 - 64 comments

boom!

"A car riged [sic] with a VBIED [vehicle-borne improvised explosive device] blows up on bridge in Hit, Iraq." (Caution: contains audio with profanity.)
posted by crunchland on Nov 9, 2005 - 40 comments

THE TRUE FIGHT WILL BEGIN FROM NOW!!

NEGADON!! "NEGADON - the Monster from Mars" is a "digital monster film", a film for the future. Similar in execution to the short film which eventually spawned "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow", Negadon is a 100% computer-generated short which has been cleverly designed to look like the old Japanese man-in-the-rubber-suit monster movies of the 50's. Even the posters look the part.
posted by 40 Watt on Oct 11, 2005 - 19 comments

Evacuations in response to "credible intelligence" received

Police evacuate Birmingham centre
West Midlands police have evacuated the second largest city in England tonight as a precautionary measure. Sky News are reporting that a series of controlled explosions (I heard on Sky News TV that one of these was on a bus, but this may be innacurate) have been carried out in the Broad Street area. I hope that any and all UK MeFi-ites in Birmingham are keeping sane through out all this.
posted by tomcosgrave on Jul 9, 2005 - 61 comments

Boom

Electric power transmission and distribution explosions and fireworks for your Fourth of July weekend.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim on Jul 2, 2005 - 6 comments

A very large explosion

NASA scientists say that a large gamma ray explosion within our own galaxy may have triggered a mass extinction hundreds of millions of years ago.
posted by C17H19NO3 on Apr 13, 2005 - 25 comments

its crunch time, folks...

texas city timewarp...... and my friend charley lou rattled in her bayou vista home 5 short miles away.
posted by oigocosas on Mar 23, 2005 - 19 comments

The Halifax Explosion

1917: The largest man-made non-nuclear explosion in history and yet (outside of Canada) a largely unknown disaster - The Halifax Explosion. [more inside]
posted by spock on Mar 21, 2005 - 43 comments

Iran & Syria to form alliance

Iran and Syria to form an alliance? Yeah, I know it's just been touched upon, but considering the specter of this (whether it is or is not ominous)....
posted by malaprohibita on Feb 16, 2005 - 27 comments

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