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by Chris Burke
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1020: Happy Fourth of July, 2015!
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Mr. Michael Keegan, Math Teacher

You hear them coming ... but they're already gone.

Years ago, I saw an F-15 Fighting Falcon over Coney Island. (I think the pilot was "Major Kerry" or "Major Kenny" ... the PA announcer repeated it numerous times, but, again, years ago.) It was the first time I really experienced sound distortion -- the plane simply was NOT in the place where the sound was coming from.

Simplifying the numbers a bit. The plane traveled about 1,000 feet per second. Sound travels about 1,100 feet per second. Assume the plane was 1,100 feet in the sky. (It should have been no lower than 1,000 feet, I believe). That means that it took about one second to hear the planes engines roar. In that same second, it moved 1,000 feet across the sky -- nearly a fifth of a mile!

So I may be looking above the Parachute Jump and the plane's out over Breezy Point!
Okay, so you don't follow the geography, but you get the point. It's not where you want to look. And when you are looking at it, ignore the sound because there isn't another one behind you.

... Or is there?

Happy Fourth of July! ... a day early.


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