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“Ship Tracks over the Pacific Ocean”

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“What are those unusual streaks? Some images of planet Earth show clear bright streaks that follow the paths of ships. Known as ship tracks, these low and narrow bands are caused by the ship's engine exhaust. Water vapor condenses around small bits of exhaust known as aerosols, which soon grow into floating water drops that efficiently reflect sunlight. Ship tracks were first discovered in 1965 in Earth images taken by NASA's TIROS satellites. Multiple ship tracks are visible across the featured image that was captured in 2009 over the Pacific Ocean by the MODIS instrument on NASA's Terra satellite. Inspired by ship-tracks, some scientists have suggested deploying a network of floating buoys in the worlds' oceans that spray salt-aerosol containing sea-water into the air so that, with the help of the wind, streams of sunlight-reflecting clouds would also form. Why do this? These human-made clouds could reflect so much sunlight they might help fight global warming.”

Courtesy of Astronomy Picture of the Day
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@LLeeford, sadly, Bill passed away on June 23; there will be no more puzzles from Bill, a devastating blow to those of us who reveled in his wisdom and kindness. His nephew, Michael, has posted a puzzle in his honor at The accompanying text provides much more information.

I have saved this as my last Bill submission and I enjoyed it and hope I can get a response from you. With the new Webb telescope I have hoped you would once again sending us followers gorgeous and educational pictures to enjoy and learn from. I miss you and look forward hearing from you. LLeeFord


So interesting!

Yet again, Bill, a 'Who Knew?' post. ...There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio....


Probably yes !


Is the use of aerosols going to be another human catch-22 action?

Thanks for this very interesting post, see we always learn something new from you every day. Thanks so much as always.

Stunning record of the traffic pattern.


Like the ghosts of the tall sailing ships

Shift tracks? Didn't know that ships left tracks like that...or are the tracks the dark areas? This is a very different picture of tracks. I think of exhaust as just smoke with basically just air a little darker...not in lines. But then, what do I know about this kind stuff. You can learn something new.


Very interesting. Are aerosol a thing of the future ? Much to think about !


Pretty though!


Interesting idea to fight global warming. I fear the solution to one problem will create another, as has been the pattern throughout human history.




Thanks Bill for another amazing APOTD and interesting information about it.


Thanks Bill, so interesting.


They look remarkably like plane contrails!

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