Orange County Contrails: A Followup

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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?

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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2021 demands.

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