You might have heard the sound of an aircraft sonic boom but have you ever seen it? Now you will… NASA has recently developed a way to capture mind-blowing images of shock waves created by jet fighters. These were captured as the planes broke the sound barrier hovering over the sky.
Background-Oriented Schlieren using Celestrial Objects, or BOSCO technique has revealed major details about supersonic shockwaves to NASA. Specially, a visual illustration of how each surface of a supersonic T-38C produces a unique shock wave as the air buckles around it. In order to capture the images, a T-38C Talon Jet was flown by test pilots at speeds faster than the speed of sound – 761 mph – to reach a specific point in the sky from where the ground cameras could capture images at a certain angle standing below the sun.
After decades of experiments, finally this breakthrough in the field is expected to help develop quieter supersonic passenger planes hopefully sometime in the not-so-distant future.