Monday, August 01, 2005

Vapor Circle

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Excellent photo of water vapor build up around a U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet as it breaks the sound barrier during a fly by near the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk. Kitty Hawk and the Carrier Air Wing 5 are currently conducting operations in the Phillipine Sea.

This Reuters photo is great on many levels...wish I'd taken it.


Avant'Garde said...

It looks like a aero-skirt :)

Any explanations to why such a phenomenon occurs?

cube said...

Interesting question. I'm not sure but perhaps someone out there knows.

Aero-skirt...good description. It does look like the Hornet is wearing a tutu.

brewsmith said...

Excellent shot, not sure who took it, but I have several more shots like it posted here >


also-known-as said...

That is the telltale sign of breaking the sound barrier. What you are seeing is moisture formed on the leading edge of the compression wave. We don't normally think of fluids as being compressible, but at higher airspeeds, it has an effect, and at the mach barrier, this is what you get.

-dwight monk

cube said...

Fascinating. Thanks for explaining the vapor circle effect, also-known-as.