Contrail and Shadow Above College Station, Texas

June 10, 2010


Photographer: Bronius Motekaitis; Bronius' Website
Summary Author: Bronius Motekaitis; Jim Foster

This startling condensation trail (contrail), seemingly ripping apart a cirrus covered sky, was seen stretching above College Station, Texas on the evening of June 6, 2009. The jet aircraft creating the trail is moving east to west -- in the direction of the Sun. Of particular interest is the contrail's accompanying shadow. Because this shadow is cast on a thin and somewhat lower cloud deck it is visible to observers on the ground. If this cloud deck were slightly thicker, neither the shadow nor the contrail could be seen. The jagged appearance of the contrail is caused by wind shear.