Friday, August 14, 2009

My Personal Learning Curve

In A Roundabout Sort Of Way

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON


How do we know the world is round? For most of humanity, we’ll never get the chance to go up on a NASA mission to see Mother Earth from outer space. But if you have a wide enough vista of clear sky, just watch a commercial jet and you’ll actually see that while it maintains a straight, undeviating course, the earth’s curvature actually makes it look as if the jet is turning.

This shot was taken on the Easter weekend this year. The Authorbloglets and their friends were out and about near the sea – and a couple of camera buffs were shooting the coastline and other familiar scenes.

At one stage, I walked over to a nearby bench to change lenses. Unable to resist watching the condensation trail of an airliner high overhead, I happened to notice the contrail beginning to form an arc.

I instantly forgot all about changing my lens to the zoom I had in my camera bag. Instead, I stuck with my normal lens and shot this second image (below) while practically lying on my back.


For other participants in Dot’s concept, go to Sky Watch HQ.


34 comments:

RuneE said...

Nice one! That should be one in the face of "The Flat Earth Society" :-)

Maddy said...

Great escape rout!

jinksy said...

Along the lines of what goes around, comes around, eh?

Suzanne said...

I remember a cloudless day on a beach here in Connecticut. I could practically feel the bubble of the sky around me. Your second photo brought me right back there! Thanks for the memory!

James said...

Amazing. I wonder how high and how fast the jet was.

notesfromthefrugaltrenches said...

So simple yet so beautiful!

~Just me again~ said...

Nice shot! I look at that and think...hmmm, there goes the plane going somewhere that I want to go.

Debbie said...

That is a wonderful photo.

Texas Travelers said...

Good explanation and great photo.

Come visit 'Prairie Barrens' under a hot sky, Click here.
Troy and Martha

Brian Miller said...

nice shot as the clouds seem to swirl in its wake...

sixstars said...

I had never noticed that effect to me it looks like the jet is just changing course. Next time ill have to take more notice when a high altitude jet flys by.

Vita Stunder said...

Great shots David!
I have some shots like that myself somewhere - your shots brought back my memories of the time I chased them :)

Have a great weekend!
Anna

Sylvia K said...

Terrific, David! We get lots of those trails over our house because we are fairly near the airport and the Sound. The condensation trails are always changing and somehow always manage to look just slightly different. I love capturing them when I can.

Cheers!
Sylvia

Martha Z said...

Sometimes I feel the contrails are interfering with my shot. This is a new way of looking at them.

Maggie May said...

The curve is plane to see!

Colin Campbell said...

Hello stranger. Lovely work as always.

Anne said...

Great!! your words DO the picture David. Love it :-)

Hugs form Anne

Photo Cache said...

Nice image.

Greyscale Territory said...

Sometimes its worth assuming odd positions to get the most fascinating shots! This one is a beauty!

Sara G said...

Very nice photo!!
Love it.
Take care!!
Happy SWF

lakeviewer said...

Yes! Up and away caught beautifully.

Cheffie-Mom said...

Great photo! Let the Authorbloglets know Kyle is ready for the BBQ! enJOY your day!

fourwindsphotojournal said...

Interesting! I am going to have to go outdoors and watch a while. We have lots of jets in the sky all the time.

Good observation.

indicaspecies said...

Good observation of the contrail beginning to form an arc. I like this post.

Personal Learning Curve, is it?;)

Joanna Jenkins said...

I'd never thought of it like that before. Fascinating and great pics. Thanks.

J Bar said...

Great capture.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

susieofarabia said...

Nice job, Dave. Pretty clouds too.

MrCachet said...

Thanks for the visit! I'll drop in occasionally. I have a source for images of Australian fruit jars, and he claims to have one of every variety from your corner of the globe. I'd like to find some Australian paper to put my art work on, and I watch eBay very closely for glass company paper. I don't know how much looking around you did on my blog, but there are several examples of "Thank You's" that I send to people who help me in my pursuit of old paper. Please keep that in mind when you wander about!

Sandi McBride said...

Wow...lying on our backs in the grass of my grand mother's front lawn, I clearly remember seeing the exact action you're talking about! Thanks for THAT memory, David...
Sandi

Hildred and Charles said...

Interesting observation, and a great shot.

quilly said...

But if the plane is flying stright, why doesn't it leave the atmosphere and head into outer space? Hmmm ...?

(Actually, I know the answer to that, but it was a question I pondered in my youth.)

joo said...

Great photos!
have a nice weeknd:)

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

David: What a neat capture.

Lee said...

David, all my life I've grown up near airports, both civilian or military. And I've seen hundreds of con trails. Funny that I never thought of them in that way before. The curve of the earth, huh? Once again you've taught me something. Thank you, my friend!

Joy!