Thursday, December 4, 2014

Jet Trail Skies

Three days ago I was sitting by the window in early morning enjoying my coffee and reading blogs, when I noticed several jet trails against the dawn sky.  These 'contrails' don't often form at all; there are many more planes passing overhead than the contrails you will see.  But when atmospheric conditions are just right, the passing planes leave behind their straight narrow trails, really just another form of clouds.

Obviously the atmospheric conditions were just right on Tuesday.  There were several long straight contrails crossing one another, and as I watched another appeared, and promptly vanished.

The contrails consist of water vapour from the planes' exhaust, condensing into billions of tiny water or ice crystals when they hit the cold air high in the atmosphere - if the combination of cold air temperatures and high relative humidity is just right.

 In any case, they made for a very beautiful sky for an hour or two.  By the way, I think this was about hour 4 and 5 of sunshine we've had in the last three weeks interrupting  the usually grim grey November skies.

I headed outside with the dog and my camera relatively early that morning to get these shots, and I'm glad I did - the sun was gone behind clouds again by mid-morning.

 
Even as the other clouds moved in though, you could still see the remnants of contrails cutting straight across the sky.  Gave me a perfect series of pictures for:


19 comments:

  1. Wow - nice shots of the skies and all those contrails!!

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  2. Contrails can be such beautiful subjects for photography. You've done well with these shots!

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  3. Nice pics of the contrails. We get a lot of them here mostly headed west. It was a beautifully sunny day today but so cold! Down to -16 tonight! I think we've had more sunshine than you have lately. Sorry. I hope you see more of the golden orb soon.

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  4. Nice sky shots. Love that blue, blue sky!

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  5. I know people who don't like to see them because they aren't natural, but I think they are beautiful! Wonderful captures, too. :-)

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  6. Man made beauty combining with nature's weather to give those contrails, the ones we see are when the plane is flying to Australia from Wellington, late afternoon on a winter day. And very occasionally when they fly from South to North Island main cities. You nailed it perfectly, and so good to see you out and about. Jean.

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  7. This is the second picture I've seen today of the jet streams crisscrossing the sky. Nice job.

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  8. Oh Wow Stu all these are so beautiful. I love image 5

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  9. Nice!! I like it when the sky gets all marked up like this.

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  10. Great photos - love the "curly" clouds coming in.

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  11. I love to see contrails in the sky!
    Have a great week-end!
    Lea

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  12. Nice pictures, though living where I do, just north of Stansted and Luton airports, I'm used to seeing contrails in the sky to the south. I'm so glad that you mentioned that we're not the only ones "enjoying" grey skies!

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  13. Beautiful sky captures! The contrails are wonderful. Have a happy weekend!

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  14. Sometimes they make very interesting patterns. Great skies.

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  15. Lovely photos . You sound like me the first this I seem to do out of bed every morning is grab my camera and look out side lol I see everything as an image and it is hard to capture it all isn't it ? ! Thanks for sharing , Have a good weekend !

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  16. You were alert! Grey skies can make us all so sleepy. I'm glad you were awake to see the skies turn blue. Bonus: contrails creating art in the sky.

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  17. The conspiracy theorists would call them "chemtrails"

    I have a bigger Inukshuk by my water garden. Kinda making plans with Hubby's tractor's help to make a large one at the entrance to the farm. I knew of caches and marking the trail as a Girl Scout but had not heard of these. I am so glad I learned about them...amazing history.

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