Picture of the day -
September 6, 2006
A "Smoke Angel" Off The Carolina Coast
Click photo to enlarge.
Photo courtesy of the
U.S. Air Force.
Today's picture features a very interesting smoke angel
that vaguely resembles an owl. Smoke angels are created when a
high-speed aircraft releases one or more flares. In this case, four
flares were released and the plane's vortex (air spiraling off the
plane's wings) formed the two "eyes" as the smoke began to spin.
Smoke angels can take many shapes depending on several factors,
including the number of flares released, their proximity to one
another, and their locations in relation to the aircraft. The one
featured above is one of the most "creative" smoke angels you're
ever likely to see.
The airplane in this picture is the one that created the smoke
angel. It's a C-17 Globemaster III from the 14th Airlift
Squadron, Charleston Air Force Base, S.C. This amazing aircraft was on an exercise over
the Atlantic coast near Charleston on May 16, 2006 when it released
its flares and created today's unique image. Tech. Sgt. Russell E. Cooley, IV
took the photo while trailing the C-17 in
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