World's First Nuclear Explosion
The Trinity Site is now part of the White Sands Missile Range and is owned by the Department of Defense. Ground zero is marked by an obelisk made of black lava rock, with an attached commemorative sign. A slightly depressed area several hundred yards across surrounds the monument, indicating where the blast scoured the ground. Only a few pieces of the green glass, trinitite, remain in a protected enclosure. Outside the fenced-in ground zero area lies Jumbo, the 214-ton steel container built to contain the plutonium if the 5,300 pounds of high explosives in the bomb detonated but no nuclear explosion resulted. Ultimately, Jumbo was not used. The restored McDonald ranch house, where the device's plutonium core was assembled, is located about two miles to the south. The remnants of the base camp where some 200 scientists, soldiers, and technicians took up temporary residence during the summer of 1945 is about ten miles southwest of ground zero. Remnants of the observation points 10,000 yards out are also still visible. The Trinity site is currently opened to the public by the National Park Service twice a year. Tours are given by the Department of Defense on request.