Jet Contrails Are Not Meteors

Screen grap of UFO via Yahoo/Youtube-Celestialconvergence
You Mean a Gloster Meteor?

For probably the millionth time since the dual inventions of jet aircraft and portable cameras, a jet contrail has been mistaken for a meteor (pictured), as reported here on Yahoo.   And that’s not even a good one.  It seems pretty obvious to me it’s a jet contrail.  It looks like a reporter took the video from the local news.  Must be a slow news day.  There are much better examples out there if you want to talk about something…


Here’s a good contrail picture that actually makes you have to think a little:

Overexposed jet airplane contrail
Over-exposed jet contrail at sunset is not a meteor. Credit via

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Michelangelo’s Dog (Watch the video to understand the reference)

Now, if you really want a good contrail to talk about, I found what is probably the best video ever captured of this phenomenon.  It’s the best contrail video for three reasons: 1) The best vantage point (from a 747 cockpit), 2) the best initial ‘fire-gods-in-the-sky-will-kill-us-all’ distance shot. (I am pretty certain that the first 40 seconds of this video are exactly what Michelangelo envisioned for the Sistene Chapel.  3) The best ‘Ohhhh…that’s what is’ conclusion, which very clearly shows exactly what it is (an Airbus A380), rather than the typical UFO video showing a parting sequence of bad zooms ending with a few frames of a dog.

Here I present to you, the worlds best video of Gods’ wrath:


Kind of similar to this, am I right?….

Half of the Sistene Chapel by Michelaneglo
Not entirely unlike an A380 at altitude
  • Aaron Huie

    You’d think people would be able to differentiate between an visually slow-moving, fat, and persistent jet contrail and the trail of a meteor.  Meteors move SO much faster and typically leave smaller and less persistent trails than jets do.  Stop jumping to conclusions, people!  The video of the 747 making a contrail was interesting though.  Between the distance and the perspective that kept you from easily telling what direction the object was moving it it was really hard to tell WHAT it was until you actually clearly saw the wings of the plane.

  • flyopia

    I know, I’ve wondered how people do that mistaking something so obvious.
    On the contrail it’s from the deck of a 747 of an Airbus A380 coming at it.