Vapor Cone

This stunning National Geographic photo contest winner shows an F-15 banking at an airshow and a array of great fluid dynamics. A vapor cloud has formed over the wings of the plane due to the acceleration of air over the top of the plane. The acceleration has dropped the local pressure enough that the moisture of the air condenses.  Some of this condensation has been caught by the wingtip vortices, highlighting those as well. Finally, the twin exhausts have a wake full of shock diamonds, formed by a series of shock waves and expansion fans that adjust the exhaust’s pressure to match that of the ambient atmosphere. (Photo credit: Darryl Skinner/National Geographic; via In Focus; submitted by jshoer)

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