Sunrise Contrails

October 05, 2001


Provided by: Eric Burgess
Summary authors & editors: Eric Burgess; Martin Ruzek

A swarm of UFOs? Not in this picture! While observing and photographing sunrise clouds, early morning photographer Eric Burgess noticed bright spots on the horizon which changed shape as he watched. Contrails of jets travelling westward with trails illuminated by the sun which was still below the horizon were the source of these curiosities. Assuming the jets were flying at 35,000 feet, and appeared one degree above the horizon, they would have been nearly 175 miles away. Three pictures illustrate the scale by referring to the silhouettes of the trees.

Related Links: