Jet Iridescence

July 27, 2016

Jet5 IRI I 015 - g0,72 - det1 (3)

July 2016 Viewer's ChoicePhotographer: Hans-Jürgen Heyen
Summary Authors: Hans-Jürgen Heyen; Jim Foster

Since I live near the airport serving Düsseldorf, Germany, a lot of jets fly over my house. On occasion, when I'm in the proper position relative to the Sun, the area behind the wings will show iridescence. The faster flow of air over the wings causes turbulence behind the wings. A shock to the air (water vapor within the air) such as this can result in minute water droplets or even tiny ice crystals. Diffraction of sunlight by the similar-sized water droplets (hundreds of times smaller than raindrops) is responsible for the pastel colors.

Photo Details: Camera Maker: Panasonic; Camera Model: DMC-FZ200; Focal Length: 53.4mm (35mm equivalent: 297mm); Aperture: ƒ/8.0; Exposure Time: 0.0004 s (1/2500); ISO equiv: 100; Software: Microsoft Windows Photo Gallery 6.0.6001.18000.