Spherian7 video - Silver Spring, Maryland, US, 25th May 2014 - Contrails - Different Colours

TEEJ

Senior Member.
Another video highlighting different colours in contrails.

The video covers two dates during 2014.

24th May covered from 0:00 to 2:52.

25th May 2014 from 2:54 till end


Video description

Of course his claims are flawed when using the upper air readings.

24th May, 2014

Upper air readings from Sterling at 12 UTC (0800 Washington Time). He is making observations of the sky and filming at 1325 Washington Time (1725 UTC)

He is filming the skies some 5 hours after the upper air readings were taken.

25th May, 2014

Upper air readings from Sterling at 12 UTC (0800 Washington time). He is making observation of the sky and filming at 1525 Washington Time (1925 UTC).

He makes the claim at 8:05 in the video that the humidity levels are under 20%. Those readings were from Sterling at 12 UTC. The aircraft filmed on the 25th May were being recorded at 1925 UTC.

The interesting part for me was the different coloured contrails. He claims that he captured a pair of teams of two jets. He makes further claims that they are all at the same general altitude and that one of each pair did not appear on flight tracking software. Nothing unusual in that as not all flights are visible on such software. I believe that the first pair did appear on Plane Finder but he was fooled by perspective.

upload_2015-8-5_17-29-46.png

upload_2015-8-5_17-30-58.png

US721 US Airways Airbus A330 was flying at 40,000 feet and US1927 US Airways Boeing 757 was flying at 32,000 feet. From his filming location it would appear that the aircraft were flying in a pair. I believe that the 8,000 feet difference led him astray? The different colours are nothing but the contrails of two airliners at different heights reflecting the light differently.

Filming location

https://goo.gl/maps/VB9GT

upload_2015-8-5_18-18-30.png
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
6:00 in the video:


Clearly not at the same altitude.

It's worth nothing though that even trails at the exact same altitude can look quite different. Different engines have different exhaust temperatures, which leads to different sized contrail particles. The smaller particles (from the hotter exhaust) has much more contribution to it's visible light from diffracted light. The larger particle appear more white. So they appear different colors under some conditions.
https://www.metabunk.org/white-grey...likely-intermixed-engine-configuration.t3246/
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
6:00 in the video:

The trails on the right-hand plane are forming very close to the engines, compared to the other one. Just an observation. It almost looks like the fuel dumping videos that have done the rounds, but I don't think it can be as the trail doesn't disperse quickly enough to be fuel.

Edit: it also cannot be fuel dumping because Boeing 757s don't have the capacity to do so!
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
The trails on the right-hand plane are forming very close to the engines, compared to the other one.

It essentially the same thing as in the CRJ intermixed engine example. On trail, when mixing with the atmosphere, is staying in a water saturated state longer, which means it starts being water saturated earlier, so the contrail become visible closer to the engine.

This situation can come from different engines, or different ambient air at that altitude.

In this chart, the purple line is the mixing line, showing the temp and humidity of the exhaust plume as it mixes with ambient air. You can move either end of the line and get different results.
 
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