The Vapor Cone.

A vapor cone, also known as shock collar or shock egg, is a visible cloud of condensed water which can sometimes form around an object. A vapor cone is typically observed as an aircraft, or object, flying at Transonic speeds. ( slightly slower than the speed of sound) 

The Pressure – Temperature dependence.

As the aircraft approaches the speed of sound, the air pressure around the object drops, and thereby the air temperature drops. If the temperature drops below the dew point, water in the atmosphere condenses to form a cloud in the shape of the shockwave.

Red Bull Stratos and the Vapor Cone.

Remember that epic jump where Felix Baumgartner, as a part of the Red Bull Stratos project broke the sound barrier ( reached Mach 1.25 ) during his descent? But why weren’t vapor cones seen around Felix’s body? Or were they?


Vapor cones are formed only near the ground, where plenty of wet air persists. But when Felix broke the sound barrier, there was no wet air that surrounded him that would enable the formation of Vapor cones.

Have a Good day!

PC: twistedsifter


Parts of a day!


I was under the impression that there were only 4 parts to day- morning, afternoon, evening and night. It blew my mind when i found out that technically there are ten parts to it!.


The first appearance of light ( very weak light ) in the sky.



It is the time between Dawn and Sunrise.



The instant at which the upper edge of the Sun appears over the eastern horizon in the morning.



Morning is the period of time between dawn and noon ( 12 ‘o’ clock in the daytime).



Constitutes all the time that the sun is right above our heads.



The period of the day between late afternoon and night.



The time of sunset is defined in astronomy as the moment when the trailing edge of the Sun’s disk disappears below the horizon.


8. Twilight

The time between Sunset and Dusk.



Dusk is the darkest stage of twilight in the evening.



The complete absence of direct sunlight. (Since moon light is a form of indirect sunlight )


ISS is the third brightest object in the night sky!

It often comes as a surprise to people when i tell them that the space station can be seen with the naked eye! Flying at 400 km above your head, the ISS looks like a really fast moving airplane in the sky.

The ISS isn’t brighter than the day sky and hence cannot be seen during the day. But in the night, it’s the third brightest object in the sky! It reflects the sunlight off the solar panels on its surface.

Spot the station!

If you would like to see the ISS for yourself, NASA ‘s Spot the station! is at your disposal. Register with your email address/mobile number and every time the ISS passes by your town/city, you will get a notification with the time, duration and inclination.


Have fun!

(Extras: There are mobile phone apps which you could use too, like the ISS detector satellite detector for android. At the end of the day all that matters is what is convenient to you.

ISS tracker– Real time tracking of the ISS)

Vegas Baby!

If you have ever been to Vegas and have seen to the Luxor Sky Beam, then you have witnessed one of modern day physics marvels. If you have plans on going to Vegas this summer, don’t miss it. 

At 42.3 billion candela, the Luxor Sky Beam is the strongest beam of light in the world. Using computer designed, curved mirrors to collect the light from 39 xenon lamps and focus them into one intense, narrow beam. 

On a clear night, the Sky Beam is visible up to 275 miles (443 km) away by aircraft at cruising altitude, such as over Los Angeles.


Each of the 39 lamps is a 7,000 watt Xenotech fixture costing about $1,200. When at full power, the system costs $51 an hour to operate, with $20 per hour of that just for its 315,000 watts of electricity.

The beam has operated reliably since first enabled on October 15, 1993, and is an FAA designated navigational landmark for aviators.


The lamp room is about 50 feet (15 m) below the top of the building and serviced by a staff of two workers during the day.The room’s temperature is about 300 °F (149 °C) while the lights are operating. 

Since 2008, only half the lamps are lit as a cost and energy saving measure. The light might be the world’s best bug attractor, establishing a new ecosystem of moths, bats, and owls.


Fun Fact.

Strobe Lights are used before the beam starts in order to warn the helicopters and other planes in the vicinity. The beam has the potency to temporarily blind pilots and the strobe lights effectively avoid this catastrophe.