Thursday, February 18, 2010

Breaking The Sound Barrier

Taken ten years ago, this stunning photograph shows a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet breaking the sound barrier. Sound travels at 768 mph (about 1 mile in 5 seconds). As the fighter jet passes from transonic to supersonic speed, a vapor cone appears as a shock wave causes a drop in pressure around the plane to form water droplets into the form of a cloud. This is also known as Prandtl-Glauert Singulairty.

Photographed off the coast of South Korea, this Hornet was attached to Strike Fighter Squadron One Five One, deployed aboard USS Constellation. It is a U.S. Navy photograph by Ensign John Gay, USN.


steven said...

golden west it's an amazing phorograph - especially the little cloud around the cockpit which i had never noticed before!!! steven

acornmoon said...

What an amazing photograph, you can almost hear the boom!

Rachel Fenton said...

How long do the clouds last for? Would it be possible to spot these clouds and know where a supersonic plane had been? Amazing - imagine beiing the person who took that - I'd be so smug!