BBC Sky at Night Magazine

Unexpected trail


I spotted this ‘trail’ from my kitchen. I wondered what it was and thought it might be a meteor trail. The clouds were moving right to left, so a cloud doesn’t seem to fit. Do you have an idea of what it might be? Colin Maguire, via email An interestin­g observatio­n, Colin. Meteor trails would generally point more towards the ground, however. This is more likely to be a short vapour trail left by an aircraft passing through the condensati­on point at that patch in the atmosphere. It could still spread in the opposite direction to lower layers of cloud, as wind direction changes with height in the atmosphere. – Ed.

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