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Author Topic: what is this observed phenomenon?  (Read 2055 times)

Offline graham.d

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what is this observed phenomenon?
« on: 04/12/2010 10:04:24 »
When flying back from Zurich to London City Airport on swissair LX456 yesterday (3rd December 2010), I observed the following:

Things I am sure of:

It was a little before noon (GMT) after a late take off because of aircraft de-icing, The Avro aircraft has a high wing and I was in a window seat a little forward of the starboard engine. Looking out (which I assume was north) there was a vapour(?) trail heading southwards. The trail was very dark (almost black) which seemed unusual as all the surrounding clouds were white. It was also very dense and did not extend back indefinately. I was trying to work out what it was when the pilot made a small course correction to the south and my view was then obscured by the engine.

Things I am not certain of because I am aware of the fallibility of observation:

The trail was some distance away (several miles) but was getting closer quickly. It was higher than our aicraft by a few thousand feet and I guess we were at around 30,000 feet. The dark vapour seemed to be very turbulent and thick encompassing whatever was causing it.

So what was it? I have never seen any aircraft produce such an effect. I did wonder whether it could have bee a meteorite burning up but there was no fireball that I could see. Any ideas?


 

Offline Geezer

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what is this observed phenomenon?
« Reply #1 on: 05/12/2010 04:09:50 »
S. Claus testing out his new sled perhaps, or he may have been picking up a few items from the Gnomes.
 

Offline RD

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what is this observed phenomenon?
« Reply #2 on: 05/12/2010 05:57:41 »
... there was a vapour(?) trail heading southwards.
The trail was very dark (almost black) which seemed unusual as all the surrounding clouds were white.


Possibly the shadow of an aircraft's vapour trail cast on a cloud ... http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=26134.0
« Last Edit: 05/12/2010 05:59:26 by RD »
 

Offline graham.d

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what is this observed phenomenon?
« Reply #3 on: 05/12/2010 09:01:41 »
Definitely not a shadow; there were no clouds immediately near this trail in any case. The vapour was more like smoke - very dark and thick.

There were no fat blokes in red or reindeer either :-)
 

Offline JimBob

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what is this observed phenomenon?
« Reply #4 on: 06/12/2010 03:19:36 »
It could have been a jet that was having a flame-out in one of its engines. Jet fuel is similar to kerosene and burns very dark when not fully combusted. Ever had a kerosene lamp?
 

Offline graham.d

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what is this observed phenomenon?
« Reply #5 on: 06/12/2010 11:40:19 »
Thanks JimBob. That sounds plausible.
 

Offline RD

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what is this observed phenomenon?
« Reply #6 on: 08/12/2010 12:45:17 »
S. Claus testing out his new sled perhaps, or he may have been picking up a few items from the Gnomes.

Can't be: he's got the sack for using blue material ...
  http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Bad-Santa-Father-Christmas-Fired
« Last Edit: 08/12/2010 13:02:31 by RD »
 

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what is this observed phenomenon?
« Reply #6 on: 08/12/2010 12:45:17 »

 

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