Thursday, July 02, 2009

Keep thine airspeed up, lest the earth come from below and smite thee...

The video clip is a 24 hour observation of the movement of all the large aircraft flights in the world, condensed down to about 2 minutes. From space it looks like a bee hive of activity. You can tell it is summer time in the north by the sun's footprint over the planet. You can see that it doesn't quite set in the extreme north and it doesn't quite rise in the extreme south.

I have never seen this before. We are taught about the earth's tilt and how it causes summer and winter in the opposite hemisphere, but to see just what is going on - WOW. With this 24-hour observation of aircraft travel on the earths surface we get to see the daylight pattern change as our timer 'moves' across the planet (and by noting where the 'sun is shining' in the northern hemisphere, across the top of the 'movie', you can estimate the time of day).

Each yellow dot is a plane in the air. Watch the concentration of the dots change as daylight comes and goes. Want to be an air traffic controller?"

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