Supersonic spectacle

A Northrop T-38C supersonic jet trainer captured mid-flight in this image of supersonic shock waves. The image released by Nasa was taken using ground-based cameras and is a result of a high-speed photography technique called "schlieren". The shock w
PHOTO: REUTERS

A Northrop T-38C supersonic jet trainer captured mid-flight in this image of supersonic shock waves. The image released by Nasa was taken using ground-based cameras and is a result of a high-speed photography technique called "schlieren".

The shock waves, represented by distortions of the background pattern, are accentuated using special mathematical equations. Such new techniques based on modern image processing methods have been developed by Nasa researchers.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 25, 2015, with the headline 'Supersonic spectacle'. Print Edition | Subscribe