A Supersonic Jet and Its Shock Waves Appear to Pierce the Sun

Illustration for article titled A Supersonic Jet and Its Shock Waves Appear to Pierce the Sun

NASA wants to build the next Concorde, bringing in a new age of supersonic jets that hopefully won’t rupture your eardrum. But in order to do that safely, there needs to be research and lots of it.

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Onen research technique, pictured above, uses an modernized 19th century method called schlieren imagery “to visualize supersonic flow phenomena with full-scale aircraft in flight,” according to NASA. Images like these will help analyze the location and strength of shock waves, so NASA engineers can develop aircraft that can minimize those effects. The dream of Concorde air travel might not be so dead after all.

[NASA/Ken Ulbrich]

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DISCUSSION

rbhenderson
rbhenderson

Schlieren! Here’s my stab at it from a few months ago...