There may very well be less of them to see in the skies lately thanks to the pandemic, but when you see one you do look at it. What am I referring to?  It is airplane made vapor trails.

Vapor trails, or contrails as some people call them, are man-made clouds that sometimes form behind aircraft that are left behind in the sky. Their formation is triggered by the water vapor emitted in the exhaust of aircraft engines, but can also be triggered by the changes in air pressure in the air over the entire wing surface of the plane.

So why is it you can see them for long periods of time and other times just for a few seconds? The length of viewing is determined by the temperature and humidity at the altitude that the contrails form. Persistent spreading contrails are thought by some, without overwhelming scientific proof, to have a significant effect on global climate.

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And as you know by now, I enjoy watching them form as an aircraft flies overhead. It's also fun to guess just where that plane might be headed.

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