Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Breaking the awesome barrier

Listening to: Everyone is Here - The Finn Brothers

If you have ever glanced at the sun or the moon and noticed a halo around it, or a seemingly random patch of rainbow in the sky (known as a Sun Dog), it's because a thin layer of suspended ice crystals is up in the atmosphere refracting the light.

So what happens when a rocket is launched and reaches supersonic speed (thus creating a shock wave) just before piercing one of these layers?

This does:
(the minties moment starts at about 1:53 when the rocket goes supersonic. I have no explanation for the naff music sorry)

Another angle that shows the Sun Dog better:

And embedding these just because I love the view from the hull mounted cameras, especially as the ground, and then the clouds get smaller and smaller, then suddenly you realise the camera is almost in space from a standing start a couple of minutes earlier.
Unmanned Delta Rocket. Check out the flexing as it accelerates:

Space Shuttle from a camera mounted on one of the booster rockets, that keeps transmitting as the booster is jettisoned and parachutes back into the ocean to be recovered:

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