Blink and you'll miss it: Photographer captures image of supersonic jet creating vapour cone

A dedicated photographer has captured a spectacular image of a jet travelling at the speed of sound - after five YEARS of trying. Joe Broyles has spent half-a-decade attempting to capture the rare shot, almost impossible due to the speed the aircraft
A dedicated photographer has captured a spectacular image of a jet travelling at the speed of sound - after five YEARS of trying. Joe Broyles has spent half-a-decade attempting to capture the rare shot, almost impossible due to the speed the aircraft moves. -- PHOTO: CATERS NEWS AGENCY 

It took him five years to chase just one image. But it was all worth it for photographer Joseph Broyles.

The 61-year-old retired US air force master sergeant captured the image of a supersonic jet creating a vapour cone last month at the Oceania Naval Air Show in Virginia Beach in the Unites States, the UK Metro reported this week.

He used a 1/1000th of a second shutter speed to capture the elusive shot. This phenomenon, also known as a 'shock egg', is produced when aircraft approach the speed of sound: 766mph.

His image captures an F-18 Super Hornet 2 creating a vapour cone in its wake as it nears supersonic speed - although, contrary to popular myth, the cone doesn't appear at the exact moment a jet breaks the sound barrier, the report said.

Vapour cones are formed from water vapour between two shock waves created by a plane nearing the speed of sound, and are also produced by other high-speed objects such as space-bound rockets.