Isn’t it lovely (it isn’t new. The pic is from 1999 and I’ve seen it before. But seeing it on someone’s wiki page reminded me). Far better than a Green Hornet.

Or maybe you’d rather listen to the wabbit.

[Update: see various comments. The situation is more complex than I though, and possibly not fully understood. See-also cute pix here -W]


  1. #1 John S. Wilkins

    No, it’s not. It’s passing through a condensation point. See here.

  2. #2 Phillip IV

    Oh. That kind of hornet. If it had been vespa crabro, it would have been a lot more sensational.

  3. #3 Andrew

    Such a picturesque way of delivering death and destruction.

  4. #4 Hank Roberts

    “This photo of the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber, which does not break the sound barrier, shows that the extraordinary cloud effect is not exactly tied to the breaking of the sound barrier….”

    Some of these images would be lovely to see photoshopped with a real hornet. Or perhaps a huge manatee.

  5. #5 Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    “breaking the sound barrier”. On a science blog, no less. Oy vey, the power of folk tales/physics is strong in this one society.

  6. #6 Hank Roberts

    > If the associated volumes cannot quickly change,
    > then the ideal gas law suggests that the temperature
    > in the low pressure regions must drop

    Well, that refutes the theory that the temperature of Venus is so high due to supersonic flights by its natives, anyhow.

  7. #7 oyunlar

    to pass the speed of sound. looks incredibly beautiful. Who knows how the transition will be the speed of light.

  8. #8 Mark

    Nice photo!

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