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Super Hornet Sound Barrier Shockwave

Photos of jets almost breaking the sound barrier are almost always breath taking and surreal. Usually you see photos of the massive vapor cones surrounding the aircraft. They’re impressive, but they often hide much of the detail of what exactly is going on with these shockwaves.

The unique combination here of no vapor in the shockwave plus a mixture of light clouds and blue sky in the background. The result is pretty amazing, uncovering multiple layers of pressure regions within the shockwave, all distorting the light of the background slightly differently.

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Take a look at the zoomed in photo below to the incredible forces going on around the jet at these speeds.

Shocking Details

The fact the humans are now capable of extremely routine supersonic travel is amazing enough. But we should still remember to keep a close eye on the natural forces involved. They’re usually pretty stunning.