) is a unit
approximately equivalent to the energy released in the detonation of 1,000,000 tons of TNT
. A kiloton
is one-thousandth of a megaton. The megaton has traditionally been used to rate the energy output, and hence destructive power, of nuclear weapons
. More recently, it has been used to describe the energy released in other highly destructive events, such as asteroid
A megaton is defined as:
The Little Boy
weapon dropped on Hiroshima
had a yield of approximately 13 kilotons. Thus, a megaton is equivalent to roughly 77 Hiroshima bombs.
The largest nuclear weapon ever detonated was the Tsar Bomba, which had a yield of 50 megatons.
See 1 E15 J for comparisons with other energies.