Contrail Vortices

January 12, 2005

Contrai_closeup1 copy

Provided by: Jurgen de Boer
Summary authors & editors: Jim Foster; Jurgen de Boer

The above photo showing these curious contrails (jet condensation trails) was taken over Amersfoort, Netherlands on December 23, 2004. When conditions are right and vortices form within the contrails, they're especially fascinating to watch. Here, a look-a-like human ear is subjected to confusing punctuation. Vortices and eddies quite often remain visible longer than the primary (more linear) portion of a contrail since they don't mix as readily with the ambient air.

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