Something you don’t see everyday: Contrails in the early A.M.

Dear Students,

Last week, my friend Katie noticed something in the early morning sky.

Katie’s picture on her way into work this morning

In Scottsdale, Ariz., observer Ryan Eiger was walking his dogs before sunrise and snapped a photo of the Juno missile contrail shining with the moon and Venus.

“I looked up quickly noticing the contrail in the east. I ran and got my iPhone and it happened to be just north of both the moon and Venus,” Eiger said in an email. “The contrail was amazing. It sort of resembled a cloud except for the very colorful tail it had.”

Linda & Dr. Dick Buscher in Anthem took this photo, which shows a pretty rainbow in the smoke:

Linda & Dr. Dick Buscher caught the contrail from a missile launch from Fort Wingate, NM, at their location in Anthem, AZ, at the north edge of Phoenix, 5:41 am on September 13, 2012.

The unique cloud was created by the launch of an Army Juno missile early Thursday from Fort Wingate in New Mexico, which soared high into the atmosphere on its way to the White Sands Missile Range to be intercepted by a Patriot missile. The unarmed Juno rocket flew so high that its long contrail reflected sunlight from the yet-to-rise sun, sparking a dazzling night sky light show.

Here is a photo of a Juno target missile like that fired from Fort Wingate near Gallup, N.M., at 6:30 this morning. (photo from White Sands Missile Range Public Affairs Facebook page)

You can read more about the missile launch here.

Sky Harbor Mass Exodus

This is a photo of the South runways traffic at Sky Harbor on 2/24/12, between 8:00 and 9:09 A.M. I set the camera on a tripod, aimed at the tower, set the lens at 70 mm, focused once and then turned off the AF and stabilization. When a plane took off, I snapped a few shots of it. Then in the computer, I took a single shot of each airplane, masked the airplanes, and copied them all into one shot, with the planes in the exact position, relative to the tower as in each original photo.

One of my favorite things about living out here is the enormous sky. What did you see today? Tell me about it!

It’s a bird, it’s a plane it’s,
Mrs. Kenney


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