# Contrail Pentagram and other "Signs" in the Sky

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#### Pete Tar

##### Senior Member

A still from a visualisation of 24 hrs air traffic over Europe, video here.

Given a patch of contrail conditions somewhere in the middle of that, I don't see how pentagrams and other shapes made with intersecting lines *couldn't* appear.

Perhaps Zane you can explain how pentagrams can't normally appear unless deliberately put there?
All you need is a patch of contrail conditions somewhere between 5 airports, and obviously that is possible.

#### Jason

##### Senior Member

That is an awesome shot if untouched.

(shot taken 18 oct 2013 south australia by manomachine)

Two lines at an angle to each other will always meet, what's so clever about it?
Something about this star doesn't seem right. Look at the lower right vertices of the star and if you follow the contrails away from the point it looks like someone photo shopped the photo by scribing over it. The contrails coming off the star look fake and added it almost like "dashes".

#### Jason

##### Senior Member
Zane O'Neill said: ↑
quite a coincidence that the ends meet perfectly, those pilots are clever!
Two lines at an angle to each other will always meet, what's so clever about it?
Just out of curiosity would a pilot 30000 feet up be able to see the approaching contrails from another plane that passed through the area a short time ago. Would the pilot in all his/her infinite wisdom be able to say, "look ahead there's a contrail, maybe we can make a shape in the sky if I go off course to intersect that line to form an angle, and let's radio into other pilots in the area so they could go off course to help form a shape, that will hopefully be appreciated on the ground, or better yet, be the discussion on a CT site". Also what are the odds of there being 6 pilots who know each other all flying in the same vicinity of each other.

#### deirdre

##### Senior Member
Something about this star doesn't seem right. Look at the lower right vertices of the star and if you follow the contrails away from the point it looks like someone photo shopped the photo by scribing over it. The contrails coming off the star look fake and added it almost like "dashes".
the sun lit bits seem off to me.

#### NoParty

##### Senior Member
C'mon, people...it's Satan!!
(if you require perfection, there's God for that)

#### Jason

##### Senior Member
the sun lit bits seem off to me.
I was thinking the same thing. With the sun directly over head with no cloud cover over the star itself, the entire star should be lit up like a Xmass tree. I'd be curious to see other photos of contrails with the sun directly over them or behind them to see the difference. I had no such luck finding these type of photos on the net

#### WeedWhacker

##### Senior Member
Just out of curiosity would a pilot 30000 feet up be able to see the approaching contrails from another plane that passed through the area a short time ago. Would the pilot in all his/her infinite wisdom be able to say, "look ahead there's a contrail, maybe we can make a shape in the sky if I go off course to intersect that line to form an angle, and let's radio into other pilots in the area so they could go off course to help form a shape, that will hopefully be appreciated on the ground, or better yet, be the discussion on a CT site". Also what are the odds of there being 6 pilots who know each other all flying in the same vicinity of each other.
Exactly spot on, your questions. (Although, would be good for the casual reader if you broke them down, and explained them rather than leaving open-ended).

#### deirdre

##### Senior Member
Just out of curiosity would a pilot 30000 feet up be able to see the approaching contrails from another plane that passed through the area a short time ago. Would the pilot in all his/her infinite wisdom be able to say, "look ahead there's a contrail, maybe we can make a shape in the sky if I go off course to intersect that line to form an angle, and let's radio into other pilots in the area so they could go off course to help form a shape, that will hopefully be appreciated on the ground, or better yet, be the discussion on a CT site". Also what are the odds of there being 6 pilots who know each other all flying in the same vicinity of each other.
(from [one of] the original pentagram link )

#### WeedWhacker

##### Senior Member
And THAT ( ^^^ ) shows that whoever is responsible for writing it has NO idea what they're talking about!!

Airplanes cannot turn and make a 90° corner while in flight!!! AND, of course, the "point" of a "star" is far greater than 90°!!

#### deirdre

##### Senior Member
this one is good: (copyright applies so I don't want to paste pic)

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#### Hevach

##### Senior Member
Well, if they're going to just play makebelieve then there's no arguing with them. All the contrails extend off the edges of the image except at the bottom right point, where they trail off. Unless they turned off the engines and did a high G turn (I did it playing Kerbal Space Program, which is the highest level of piloting experience I can boast - I don't think real planes work like that) they weren't made by the same plane.

#### deirdre

##### Senior Member
there are several of this kind of star (which nasa explains briefly here)

#### Hevach

##### Senior Member
This star pattern of intersecting contrails is actually not that unusual; at least in some parts of the country. Under the current air traffic control system, planes fly along specific "highways in the sky" which intersect at certain points over navigational beacons. This photo from Missoula, MT captures such a location. Photo by Dr. Georgia Cobbs, April 2004.
I didn't know this before. I knew there were fixed routes and that they crossed, but I thought the crossings were just arbitrary, not anything specific like this. But, yeah, you should see all kinds of crosshatches, triangles, and stars around those points.

#### WeedWhacker

##### Senior Member

I didn't know this before. I knew there were fixed routes and that they crossed, but I thought the crossings were just arbitrary, not anything specific like this. But, yeah, you should see all kinds of crosshatches, triangles, and stars around those points.
"Hevach", please refer to my post #35 on Page 1.

#### Mick West

Staff member
Something about this star doesn't seem right. Look at the lower right vertices of the star and if you follow the contrails away from the point it looks like someone photo shopped the photo by scribing over it. The contrails coming off the star look fake and added it almost like "dashes".
It's clearly fake. See a larger version

#### WeedWhacker

##### Senior Member
in this pic you see the plane actually turn into the mark
A bit confused...(because I know what I see). The curved contrail, is that your focus? It is exactly as it should look, when a jet making a contrail changes heading (or, makes a turn). Quite normal.

Trying to keep it simple, any airplane in a turn will travel in a curved course, when viewed directly from above or below. This will be defined as an "arc" that, if connected fully, would make a full circle. Like any circle, there is a radius that defines half the diameter. Therefore, an arc (or, just a section of the circle) shares this same radius. Savvy?

Now, the actual radius (of an arc segment, or even a full circle) that is defined by the motion of the aircraft depends on the speed, and angle of bank. Just those two factors. (Let's ignore wind effects, assuming winds are ZERO).

Slower speeds and steeper bank angles result in smaller radii. Higher speeds increase radius, for any given bank angle. Higher Bank angles increase radius for any given speed.

Since commercial passenger jets are limited to 25° of bank (and usually MUCH less, generally not more that 15° at higher cruising altitudes), then really all normal turns have quite large radii.

#### deirdre

##### Senior Member
A bit confused...(because I know what I see).
I was referring to navigational beacons...

#### WeedWhacker

##### Senior Member
I was referring to navigational beacons...
Oh, gotcha.

Well, here's how it is supposed to work, when a turn at a navigational beacon (or any other sort of waypoint) is accomplished.

A bit of anticipation is necessary. For instance: The turn point (A) has you approaching on a particular course, say 090° (due east). After passage of this navigational fix (waypoint), the new direction is going to be 125° (again, just an example). This is a total angle of change equal to 35°.

IF you flew the airplane TO the point, and THEN began your turn (in this case, it would be a right turn), then due to the natural radius, you would over-shoot the new course, and it would require correction back to "intercept" that new course (125°) AND you could exceed the protections of the airspace limits around these Airways, aloft.

So, we anticipate and begin the turn just prior to the actual turn point (or fix). There are many neat little tricks we can use, in our heads, knowing our speed and bank angle and the amount of course change....but when on autopilot, the computer does all that for us. It's really basic trigonometry.

#### Trailspotter

##### Senior Member
Another Perfect Pentagram, quite a coincidence that the ends meet perfectly…
Oh! Zane turned up again, but instead of answering my question where and when the first photograph was taken, he came with a new picture that is obviously fake. Why should we bother to explain the first picture if he would not be bothered to provide some evidence for it being real?

Anyway, while searching for other occurrences of the same photograph yesterday I came across a 'witness account of (another?) pentagram' in the sky seen at (sunset?) 7:30 PM in a town in east Tennessee.

Following the WW post above, I looked at the SkyVector Chart of this area; there is a node at Knoxville TN, showing that jets fly over it in no less than five different directions

Google Image search for 'Knoxville contrails' found a few partial 'pentagrams':

How do the planes, the routes of which cross each other at the same point, produce star-shaped contrail grids? The answer is in the high altitude wind that moves contrails across the sky. To make a five-pointed star, the planes should fly in five different (by about 36° from each other) directions with similar time intervals between them and in a particular sequence of these directions, dependent on the direction of the wind.

I've done my calculations on paper, but Mick may eventually come with a computer graphics simulation of the contrail stars as he did with the racetrack contrails and ordinary contrail grids.

#### NoParty

##### Senior Member
To make a five-pointed star, the planes should fly in five different (by about 36° from each other) directions with similar time intervals between them and in a particular sequence of these directions, dependent on the direction of the wind.
'Tis a small price to pay, to give away your super-secret plan!

#### Pete Tar

##### Senior Member
It's clearly fake. See a larger version
The 5th line is obviously added, and for some reason they've extended the edges of one contrail (I thought it just might have been some weird lens flare at first), but are all 4 of the others real? Anyway, I like the contrail shadow in this one.

#### MikeC

##### Closed Account
As I said you do not need to be a rocket scientist to see that that is way way less than 28,000 feet my friend. Its called logic, look at the surroundings put it into perspective LOL, nice try.
I'm not a rocket scientist and I have no idea how you can tell how high those contrails are.

Can you explain the methodology for determining the height please?

Ta

Mike

#### Jason

##### Senior Member
The 5th line is obviously added, and for some reason they've extended the edges of one contrail (I thought it just might have been some weird lens flare at first), but are all 4 of the others real? Anyway, I like the contrail shadow in this one.

Now mind you I'm not an "expert" like Mick and others on this site, but to a laymen it's blatantly obvious that this star is fake. The only two contrails that look real are the ones that form the bottom most vertices. In the enlarged photo Mick provided us you can clearly see the "photoshopped" add ins that form the left vertices and top right vertices. I think the lens flare was also added in to give it the affect of being "real". Honestly, the whole thing has to be in question though because if someone took the time to fake one line, whose to say they didn't take the time to fake the entire photo (clouds and all). Maybe they overlapped two photos somehow.

#### Jason

##### Senior Member
So, we anticipate and begin the turn just prior to the actual turn point (or fix). There are many neat little tricks we can use, in our heads, knowing our speed and bank angle and the amount of course change....but when on autopilot, the computer does all that for us. It's really basic trigonometry.
OT: Does that much emphasis go into making a turn in a commerical airliner? Is it like driving a car (meaning it comes naturally) or does a pilot have to carefully plan the upcoming turn with respect to velocity and ???? what ever else. Curious to know, thanks.

#### Balance

##### Senior Member
Ten points if you can find me a Zorro trail

And, what are the chances of a thousand monkey pilots writing the bible in trails?

#### deirdre

##### Senior Member
Ten points if you can find me a Zorro trail

And, what are the chances of a thousand monkey pilots writing the bible in trails?
ive seen several actually but didn't save em cause I thought they were boring. my above link accesses like 4000 contail photos.. have at it and look for the original pentagram while youre there.

#### Balance

##### Senior Member
One simply does not "have at it" 4000 images to find one's ten points.

#### Pete Tar

##### Senior Member
The contrail through the bright sun disc in the middle of the day would not possibly have produced visible borders on the photograph.
I question this, if you're referring to the most vertical of trails - it is the one that seems to produce a shadow and is more likely to be real, and the part that is visible near the sun is in the bloom of the sun, not the sun itself.

#### deirdre

##### Senior Member
Ten points if you can find me a Zorro trail

And, what are the chances of a thousand monkey pilots writing the bible in trails?
huh. people actually name their pics zoro ; ) found zoro's and his brothers.

#### Pete Tar

##### Senior Member
huh. people actually name their pics zoro ; ) found zoro's and his brothers.
Okay now find a W.

#### Soulfly

##### Banned
Banned
Okay now find a W.
And then start digging under it. Probably wont find buried money, but at least you have the start of a nice bunker.

#### WeedWhacker

##### Senior Member
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