Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Sonic Boom Meets Sun Dog

tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

This amateur video is absolutely amazing: recording the precise moment when a rocket goes supersonic, which coincides with the moment it passes through a layer of ice crystals in the atmosphere, creating a rippled effect that is just astonishing to see.


Solar Dynamics Observatory Launch, Feb 11, 2010: A sun dog is a prismatic bright spot in the sky caused by sun shining through ice crystals. The Atlas V rocket exceeded the speed of sound in this layer of ice crystals, making the shock wave visible from the ground. The announcer can be heard in the video saying, “The vehicle is now supersonic.”

Comments

  1. #1 Charles Wade
    February 19, 2010

    That was Amazingly Cool! I am a physics teacher and we are just finishing sound waves, perfect timing. Thank you for this entry and ll your previous ones.

  2. #2 ORAquabat
    February 20, 2010

    Sorry, I’m going to have to call fake on this one. The apparent shuttering movements of the rocket don’t appear to coincide w/ either camera movement or field of view movement. If I’m wrong, so be it.

  3. #3 p
    February 20, 2010

    Decidedly not fake. Visible on official cameras, e.g. the North Beach Tracking Cam, seen near the end of this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qvX9ZeSys8&feature=related.

    It punched through a nearly saturated layer, and the waves lifted the air, isentropically cooling it to saturation. The same formation mechanism as your ordinary wave cloud, just a different initiator.

  4. #4 p
    February 20, 2010

    Decidedly not fake. Visible on official cameras, e.g. the North Beach Tracking Cam, seen near the end of this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qvX9ZeSys8&feature=related.

    It punched through a nearly saturated layer, and the waves lifted the air, isentropically cooling it to saturation. The same formation mechanism as your ordinary wave cloud, just a different initiator. It just happened to occur at the time the vehicle went supersonic. A reasonable topic for discussion is whether that’s necessary. A subsonic bow wave would create a disturbance, which might be enough to create the wave clouds.

    I wonder if we can find that layer on the soundings. Probably not on the regular balloon soundings, but maybe there’s a profilometer in the area.

  5. #5 retrogamer500
    February 20, 2010

    It isn’t a sun dog. It is a curcumhorizontal arc. /weather nerd

  6. #6 Vince Parke
    February 21, 2010

    I think reality is fake. I called it. I might be wrong.

  7. #7 damnedyankee
    February 21, 2010

    I love how the videographer anticipated wanting to see that again. I was literally just about to scroll it back when “DO IT AGAIN!” came up on the screen.

  8. #8 SpaceManAndy
    February 22, 2010

    It’s not fake. I was there, saw it IRL.

  9. #9 Papagolash
    February 22, 2010

    It’s funny when people are saying it’s fake when there’s multiple camera angles of it happening.

  10. #10 OPShots1
    February 23, 2010

    “It’s funny when people are saying it’s fake when there’s multiple camera angles of it happening.”

    Yet there are those who believe in “chemtrails.” Birds of a feather, mayhaps? ;-)

  11. #11 Joe
    March 22, 2010

    Definitely happened as shown. I work @ Cape Canaveral and was there when it happened and I saw it first hand.