Saturday, August 27, 2011

Latest Aircraft Contrail Meteor Hoax, Cusco, Peru

CBS is carrying footage of a supposed Meteor streaking across the skies of Cusco, Peru.

Its great footage, but its not a meteor and its not setting fire to the forests in Peru as is being suggested by other sites.

Its all about angles and perspectives, and reflected sunlight.

Contrails are created by aircraft traveling at cruising altitude and causing the moisture in the atmosphere to condense into a denser state, whereby the light reflects off them, lighting them up where they can be seen for many miles.

We have all seen them, but at dawn and dusk the angle of the sun is very low and this is when they light up and look like what you see in this footage.

Lets pay some credit here, it is really interesting footage and very spectacular, but its a jumbo jet.

Hohmann Transfer website regularly collects images of illuminated contrails and I made my own contribution to their collection back in 2005.

In this photo below you can see three such contrails in the one photo. I was fly fishing at dusk about 30-40 klms east of the main flight path between Brisbane and Melbourne.

As someone who has personally seen a bolide travel across 30% the entire sky and cross the horizon line in less than five seconds, any thing that you can photograph for that long that hasn't moved much is traveling pretty slowly (by comparison).

So thanks for the great footage, but lets not get too over excited.

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