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Contrail visibility across observation points?

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  • Contrail visibility across observation points?

    The other night, my Daughter and I were stargazing together. We are 60 miles apart.
    We both could see a line of Venus, Betelgeuse and Sirius, about equi-distant. In the other direction from Venus, I could see a star that I couldn't identify, oddly also in a straight line with the others.
    I was also able to see a sunlit contrail, and a brightly illuminated jet, that I identified as an LAX-PEK at 38,000 feet. She couldn't see the contrail at all. I used HeyWhatsThat.com panorama up in the air to show that she should easily have been able to see something 38,000 feet up, from her house.
    Has anyone else shared observations from people at two locations?
    The only thing that makes sense to me is that the parallax would be so different that she would be looking in a different direction, and the contrail was blocked by something in her view.

  • #2
    amazingly just the other day i filmed a contrail move away from me until it was 63 miles from me see VQ BWY Silk Way West Airlines Boeing 747 Great Contrail seen Cambridge UK 13may2020 735p HHN
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQmdHzWqwhA

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    • #3
      My daughter and I completed our task of seeing the same airplane and contrail this morning.
      I'm in Santa Rosa, she's in San Mateo 68 miles apart. We could both see the same plane and contrail.
      She called me because there was an east-west flight that she thought I might see.
      Although it was there in dump1090, I could not see that far, because of local terrain or buildings.
      Then I spotted a good candidate, directly Southbound, beautiful morning-sun-lit contrail.
      We could both see it above the San Francisco Bay, starting 45 miles from each of us (at San Quentin) and continuing a little south from there, until I lost it against the roof of a house, blocking my view.

      This is the track of those two flights that I could see on my dump1090, which might be the same range as my line of sight, if I were on the roof.


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