December 11, 2001
It has now been 3 months since the terrible attacks on New York and Washington. On September 12, the day after terrorists crashed commercial jets into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the FAA cancelled all non-military flights. Thus commercial jet contrails were virtually absent overhead until the ban on flying was lifted on September 13. This photo, taken in the late afternoon on September 12 from the Russian Meteor satellite (approximately 600 miles above the Earth's surface), shows 2 distinct contrails and their shadows over Pennsylvania. It's not known for sure which type of jets are responsible for these contrails - they may be tankers. Note also that the smoke from the fires at the World Trade Center is visible just southeast of New York City. Ridges and valleys of the Appalachian Mountains can be clearly seen in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.