Orange County Contrails: A Followup

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

A week ago I posted a picture of some contrails that seemed like they were rising at a surprisingly steep angle. I got convinced pretty quickly that, in fact, this is just an optical illusion created by a plane coming around the curve of the earth from south of here. And of course, that’s what it is. Here’s a pair of pictures I took from my backyard this morning:

So, fine, they’re just airplanes. But I do still have a question. Unless I’ve completely lost my mind, I don’t recall seeing contrails like this until recently. Then, starting a couple of months ago, I started seeing them all the time. What’s up with that? I assume that they only show up when the sun is nice and bright and shining from the right spot in the sky, but surely it’s been doing that for the past 50 years? Even if it’s a seasonal thing, it’s been doing it for the past 50 winters. So why have I only recently noticed this? Is it really just a case of me being completely oblivious for the past few decades?

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate