Author Topic: If Not One Thing It's Another...Jet Contrails  (Read 65 times)

Aaron Romano

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If Not One Thing It's Another...Jet Contrails
« on: December 23, 2017, 10:14:02 PM »
Over the last few years I've noticed more and more that I am losing observing opportunities because of jet contrails.  This appears to be a larger problem in winter and in the last week alone I've had two days where jet contrails have seriously interfered with my attempts to picture the sun.  Specifically situations where I had been doing a string to try and capture changing prominences on the sun's limb.  Today, I'd estimate a good 20 to 30% of the sky is being affected by contrails and if it weren't for all these "clouds" the sky would be nearly perfectly clear.

Lately, there was a study done back through the grounding of commercial airlines following 9/11 that indicated that contrails might be playing a substantial role in global warming.  I am fairly certain the finding from that study obtained a lot of harsh and immediate attack from the scientific community but one has to wonder whether all of these artificial clouds might be impacting our weather.

In any case, I've seen lots of days and nights throughout the last few years in which contrails were the dominant cloud cover in the sky.

Here is a picture that I took just now, three separate contrails, one on the far horizon and two almost from horizon to horizon with a few more in different fields of the sky.

Just one more thing. . .Attached Thumbnails



clicpostreta

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Re: If Not One Thing It's Another...Jet Contrails
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2017, 03:08:53 AM »
Yeah, they're a PIA here to at the Charlotte area.  Apart from a airport, they seem to travel a lot going south and north.  I thik they make clouds as well!

olchakisur

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Re: If Not One Thing It's Another...Jet Contrails
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2017, 10:07:53 AM »
It's definitely something, we regularly become clear nights with 90% cloud cover of the steam coming from local petrochemical plants as well as the nuclear cooling tower 15km away.  In my situation, end from north signifies no celebrating.  Other than that I've bortle scale 8 heavens, but still can picture stars down to magnitude 20 ...

tiocartratca

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Re: If Not One Thing It's Another...Jet Contrails
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2017, 05:01:30 AM »
Quote
Interestingly, there was a study done back during the grounding of commercial airlines after 9/11 that suggested that contrails could be playing a significant role in global warming.

The role of clouds with respect to global warming is debatable. They definitely work both ways, some clouds resulting it net cooling due to reflecting more sunlight back to space, some clouds resulting in net warming due to reflecting more infrared back down to the ground. The overall effect is almost impossible to measure.

Regardless, there is very compelling evidence that jet contrails cause a small but measurable increase in overall cloudiness.

libulbinis

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Re: If Not One Thing It's Another...Jet Contrails
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2017, 03:42:01 PM »
I think it was the Eyjafjallajökull* 2010 volcanic eruption when all civil aircraft were grounded over Britain. We had the most fantastically crystal clear skies for a few days.

* Yes, I had to look up the spelling.

Travis Kuhlman

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Re: If Not One Thing It's Another...Jet Contrails
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2017, 07:45:24 PM »
Yes. A lot of jet routes criss-cross our area, especially north-south ones at long-range commute times. I can recall a few clear nights when the contrails seemed to spread & merge, eventually leaving us with hazy skies an hour or two after dark.

But a few amateur astronomers aren't going to get commercial aviation grounded.

Jim H.

buddderpdrivla

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Re: If Not One Thing It's Another...Jet Contrails
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2017, 10:32:56 AM »
Airpassenger numbers areexpected toincrease ~8% annually.

Michael Hobbs

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Re: If Not One Thing It's Another...Jet Contrails
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2017, 10:45:18 PM »
<p class="citation">QuoteI think it was the Eyjafjallajökull* 2010 volcanic eruption when all civil aircraft were grounded over Britain. We had the most fantastically crystal clear skies for a few days.[/quote]

The image below was taken on the first evening of the grounding. The view from the high moors north of Pately Bridge in North Yorkshire is normally saturated with contrails from the Heathrow to N America corridor. Yes quite a few nights of no contrails - it was fantastic!


globleferep

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Re: If Not One Thing It's Another...Jet Contrails
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2018, 02:26:15 AM »
Tonk - nice. We were spending a few days away down near Hartland Point in Devon, which has skies pretty much as dark as the Exmoor National park. Pity I didn't have a telescope with me but the views through bins was good as I recall.

awesrasa

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Re: If Not One Thing It's Another...Jet Contrails
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2018, 11:14:56 AM »
I've stayed at astroadventures 3 times . it's near Hartland Point so I know it well. Dark skies for UK!

poithegepur

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Re: If Not One Thing It's Another...Jet Contrails
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2018, 01:21:45 PM »
Quote

Interestingly, there was a study done back during the grounding of commercial airlines after 9/11 that suggested that contrails could be playing a significant role in global warming. I'm pretty sure that the finding from that study received a lot of harsh and immediate attack from the scientific community but one has to wonder whether all of these artificial clouds could be affecting our weather.

Way back in the late 90's I was talking to a researcher that thought contrails were the primary cause of global warming. It jibed nicely with the data that showed warmer night temperatures, but no increase in daytime temperatures.

There is plenty of evidence on this issue, but the United States silence is what is more interesting.

When the Europeans proposed taxing air travel to reduce global warming impacts the Obama Administration opposed it and managed to get it killed. At the time, I thought it was from the economic impacts to the United States since aircraft is one of the few things we make and trade to any significant extent.

But now with fracking, the balance of trade numbers are going to starting to looking pretty good. However, there appears more interest in eliminating the coal industry in this country that addressing the issue of jet travel.

Really, jet travel affects fewer people and probably has a greater impact. But it affects a different strata in society so that might be the problem with regulating jet travel to reduce global climate change impacts.

The other problem.....remember all those crackpots in the 1960's that said jet travel would change the world's climate?? Dare we admit that they might have been right??

Shawn Bush

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Re: If Not One Thing It's Another...Jet Contrails
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2018, 10:52:22 PM »
Quote
I've stayed at astroadventures 3 times . it's near Hartland Point so I know it well. Dark skies for UK!

Ah yes, I know where that is. We have a little getaway place a few miles west of astro adventures. Officially it's not quite as dark as where they are but so much better than Oxfordshire, especially at the zenith and looking north. South is lousy because of Bude unfortunately. Actually to be fair, and sticking with the topic of this thread, few commercial aircraft cross the skies down there. But you only need one to diminish the seeing through one strip of sky.