Stock Photo: USA -- This schlieren image dramatically displays the shock wave of a supersonic jet flying over the Mojave Desert. Researchers used NASA-developed image.

Stock Photo - USA -- This schlieren image dramatically displays the shock wave of a supersonic jet flying over the Mojave Desert ... . Researchers used NASA-developed image processing software to remove the desert background, then combined and averaged multiple frames to produce a clear picture of the shock waves of this NASA T-38C supersonic jet aircraft. In the wake of recent success with air-to-air schlieren photography using the speckled desert floor as a background, researchers at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards, California, are now looking to the heavens for backgrounds upon which to capture images of supersonic shock waves using ground-based cameras. A bright light source and/or speckled background "such as the sun or moon" is necessary for visualizing aerodynamic flow phenomena generated by aircraft or other objects passing between the observer's camera and the backdrop. This patent-pending method, made possible by improved image processing technology, is called Background-Oriented Schlieren using Celestial Objects, or BOSCO -- Picture by Atlas Photo Archive/NASA.

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