Home » Articles posted by Mick West (Page 3)

Cirrus Uncinus and Contrails

  I took these photos around 8AM this morning, Feb 4th 2009, in Los Angeles.   They show Cirrus Uncinus clouds, with a contrail running through them. Cirrus uncinus clouds (or “Mares’ Tails”), according to wikipedia: Cirrus uncinus is a type of cirrus cloud. The name cirrus uncinus is derived from Latin, meaning...
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Twilight Zone Contrails

I was watching the first episode of The Twilight Zone, Where is Everybody, made in 1959, and I noticed that the movie poster had a nice depiction of some persistent contrails forming a grid: I don’t think it’s a real poster, but it’s a real movie (Battle Hymn,...
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Things are not as they seem

This is an actual photo, not photoshopped.   The stork is not at the same altitude as the contrail, it’s actually quite a bit lower.   It’s the same thing when you see two planes, one making a contrail, and one not – they are just at different...
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Voodoo Contrails over Los Angeles

I was walking along this morning at around 10AM, when I noticed a huge semi circular contrail, somewhere to the south of LAX.  This is something I’ve never seen before.  The weather was very well suited for contrails, and there were quite a few criss-crossing the sky. Then...
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People Don’t Notice Contrails

I find clouds fascinating.   If I see a lenticular cloud while driving I might nearly crash the car while straining for a better view.   I’ve only seen mammatus clouds once in my life, and stopped to try to take a photo.  I’m quite fascinated by contrails...
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Memphis Belle WWII Bomber Contrails – 1944

This is an excerpt from the 1944 film “The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress”. The full original film is public domain, and can be found here: http://www.archive.org/details/TheMem… The film shows contrail formation, including showing “broken” contrails. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfOrez6q7WM Make sure you listent to the audio, as...
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Fighter and Bomber Contails, 1940s

Contrails are a common sight now, but prior the the advent of commercial jet travel in the late 50s, there was little reason for planes to fly high enough to form contrails.  However, during the Second World War, high altitude airial dogfights over the UK were quite common....
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Aerodynamic and Rainbow Contrails

You occasionally see very pretty photos of contrails, like this one: Very pretty.  But what is it?  It’s clearly not a regular exhaust contrail, as the trail seems to start actually ON the wing, and it has a weird rainbow effect you don’t often find in exhaust contrails....
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Clouds before Planes – Cloud Studies 1905

The book “Cloud Studies” was published in 1905, over a hundred years ago.  It was written by Arthur W. Clayden, M.A., Former principal of University College, Exeter, UK. The book is available in PDF form since it’s out of copyright: http://contrailscience.com/files/Cloud_Studies.pdf But the images are rather low quality,...
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WWII Contrails

There are lots of photos of contrails from World War II. I’ve collected a few of them here: https://plus.google.com/photos/107393796095434664991/albums/5235534135256807809 The collection shows all types of contrail formation – from the very short ones, to long persistent trails that spread out like cloud cover. Why so many photos of...
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Britain From Above – Air Traffic

There’s a great new series on the BBC in the UK: Britain From Above, that shows how various things look from a high perspective, using very interesting visualization techniques. One of the most interesting (for me) was an episode that showed all the air traffic in UK airspace...
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Things That Are NOT Contrails (or Chemtrails)

Contrails are long thin clouds of ice crystals that form behind planes that fly through freezing cold air. Usually you see them behind jets at around 30,000 feet.  If the air they fly though has enough moisture in it already, then these contrail clouds can last for a...
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Chemtrail Non-science

I’m very interested in contrails, but when you look for information about them on the internet, half the sites that turn up are about a conspiracy theory which claims that any trail that last more than a few minutes is actually a “chemtrail”, comprised of dangerous chemicals, particularly...
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Thirty Contrails, Forty Years Ago

This photo has the largest number of contrails I’ve seen in a single photo: There seem to be at least 30, possibly more (click the photo for a larger verision).  What is even more remarkable is that it was taken sometime before 1967.  That’s over forty years ago....
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Germans Admit They Used Düppel!

Another bit of “Chemtrail” mythology was born with this YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiUMfsR28SM This video has been seized upon by the Chemtrail community as evidence that “chemtrails” are real, and that the German government has admitted they are spraying “chemtrails”. Unfortunately the entire video is a very bad translation...
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How Long do Contrails Last?

Q) How long do contrails last? A) According to all the books on clouds in the last 70 years, contrails last anywhere from less than a second, up to several hours. If depends on the atmospheric conditions at the altitude the plane is flying. It’s unrelated to the...
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Contrails Above and Below

I took this photo on December 16, 2007, at around noon. It’s facing south from Los Angeles, California. It was a particularly good day for contrails. You can see about seven in this photo. There’s also a nice contrail shadow, and a halo around the sun. I was...
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Some more WWII Contrails

Here’s a newly discovered photo of contrail in WWII, this was taken by William Anderson, and uploaded by a grandchild of his, here. ( Creative Commons, Some rights reserved)   Update: The photo album has been updated with a much better scan:   You can see it’s taken...
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Racetrack Contrails

Here’s a contrail you don’t see every day: the racetrack contrail (or, as I like to call this one, the paperclip contrail) This photo was taken near Portland, Oregon on December 11th, 2005, at around 11AM. So why would a plane be flying in this unusual pattern? Well,...
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Pre WWII Contrails

The Wright Brother’s first achieved powered flight in 1903. They only got a few feet off the ground, so of course did not leave a contrail. However it was barely more than a decade before planes inched into colder air, and the first reports began. The earliest known...
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