Submit a question to our community and get an answer from real people.

Why is it difficult to detect planes in the air?

I mean when I see a plane pass by over me in the sky..the plane is on the right while its noise seems to be coming from the left? So when I hear a noise of the Plane I cant find it in the sky...??!! Lol why? Why does its sound come from somewhere else?

Report as

Airliners fly at around 35,000 feet, or more than 6 miles up. Sound takes 5 seconds to travel a mile. Therefore, the sound of the plane takes about 30 seconds to get to you. By that time, the plane (moving at around 300 miles an hour, or 5 miles a minute, which is NOT faster than sound) is about 2 miles from where it was when the sound left it. So you see the plane in a different spot than where the sound is coming from.

Report as

Faster than sound. The plane goes so fast that the sound has to catch up to it.

Report as
No. Only military jets fly faster than sound. See my correct answer below.
Report as
Sound STILL has to catch up. That was the point.
Report as
The sound is moving FASTER than the plane, it does not have to "catch up." That's the point.
Report as
If the sound is faster, why is the plane ahead of it?
Report as
See my answer above, it's the distance to the plane which the sound must travel. You would get exactly the same effect with a truck on the highway doing 60 mph a mile away, the truck would appear to be ahead of where the sound is coming from by about 450 feet (5 seconds for the sound to get here, the truck is moving at 88 feet per second)..
Report as
It's going 60 amile away, but when the sound reaches you, the truck is going 88? Makes as much sense as anything I can come up with...
Report as
60 miles an hour equals 88 feet per second. If you can't understand this you are too young to be using this site. It is for people 14 and over.
Report as
No, sorry. I am old enough, but my mind has a filter on what I read an hear. Thought you said 88 miles...
Report as
and*
Report as

It is the clouds reffering the sound to another side in the sky