Jet’s shock waves captured against the sun

IT’S like threading a needle while travelling faster than the speed of sound. Pilots at the US air force test pilot school flew this supersonic T-38C jet to the right place at the right time so that NASA could capture this photograph of the jet’s shock waves. When the waves are forced together, they merge into one, creating a sonic boom.

This is the first time shock waves have been photographed from the ground in such detail. The technique takes advantage of the sun both as a very bright light source and as a background. Edward Haering at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California and his team used a special optical filter to reveal the sun’s textured surface, stippled with sunspots. This meant the team could make hundreds of detailed observations of each shock wave by observing how it distorted the pattern of sunspots.

Jet's shock waves captured against the sun's brightness
(Image: NASA)

By:

APERTURE

7 October 2015

Source: Jet’s shock waves captured against the sun’s brightness | New Scientist

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s