Photo/IllutrationA photograph of a mushroom cloud over Hiroshima that is believed to have been taken from Enola Gay, the U.S. aircraft that dropped the atomic bomb on Aug. 6, 1945. The picture had been stored at the U.S. Library of Congress in Washington. (Provided by the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum)

  • Photo/Illustraion

HIROSHIMA--The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum has unveiled a new photograph of the mushroom cloud caused by the atomic bomb explosion in 1945, a shot apparently taken from Enola Gay after the U.S. plane dropped its payload.

The photo was obtained from the U.S. Library of Congress and joins two similar images of the mushroom cloud at the museum.

“The new picture may give us leads into analyzing the movement of the mushroom cloud,” said a museum official Jan. 24.

The photo shows what looks like the lower section of an aircraft window and the entire mushroom cloud rising from central Hiroshima. The enormous cloud is in two parts, with a horizontal split. This split is characteristically visible immediately after an atomic bomb is detonated.

Based on the ID number in the right bottom corner of the image and other details, experts believe it was taken from Enola Gay, the B-29 bomber that dropped the atomic bomb on Aug. 6, 1945.

It is one of 10 new pictures relating to the atomic bombing that were released for public viewing Jan. 24.

They were among 2,100 photos collected when staff members of the Hiroshima museum scoured the Library of Congress, the U.S. Navy’s Naval History and Heritage Command, also in Washington, and the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Ohio between November and December 2016. Some of the photos turned out to be the same as ones already in the museum’s possession.

It was the staff members' first visit to those facilities and part of the Hiroshima museum’s longstanding effort to convey the entire picture of the city's atomic bombing through photos and other data.

In a photo showing the area around Ground Zero looking in an eastward direction, it is easy to confirm that it was taken in January 1946.

That shot also shows a mark on Ground Zero and the signatures of the three Enola Gay crew members. They signed as Paul Tibbets Jr., pilot, Thomas Ferebee, bombardier, and Theodore Van Kirk, navigator.

The museum has been making renewed efforts to collect photos documenting the atomic bombing from public venues overseas as many valuable images may be donated to such facilities as the World War II generation passes into history.

“We do have a good chance of finding new historical data,” said Shuichi Kato, deputy director of the Hiroshima museum. “We want to expand our search to Russia and other countries as well, not just the United States.”

The museum’s collection stands at around 70,000 photographs. It plans to eventually make them available on its website.