If you spend your days watching vapour trails you are in danger of being labelled as a little odd.

However, in some cases, you might be rewarded with something spectacular.

Such was the case for Brisbane-based photographer and aviation enthusiast ePixel Aerospace.

Capturing the image of Qatar Airway's Boeing 777 service from Doha to Auckland the conditions were just so that the vapour trails – or contrails – caught the late winter light in a spectacular way.

Advertisement

Travelling at a height of over 9,000 m at a speed of 793 kph the conditions were just right for what the photographer called "most spectacular rainbow contrails I have yet seen."

1:31 Truly amazing and very beautiful rainbow contrails by a Qatar Airways Boeing 777

Youtube 4K Link https://youtu.be/_SuUsVkfTJU Qatar Airways Boeing 777-2DZ(LR) Reg. A7-BBG as flight QR921 displays some truly amazing and very beautiful rainbow contrails as she transits over Brisbane, Australia. This has to be one of the most spectacular rainbow contrails I have yet seen with a B777! The seeing conditions were just about perfect on the day, being in Winter with slightly cooler conditions and little air disturbance looking directly upwards to 9.3 km. The video sequence was captured in both real time and slow motion sequences. The stills image at the end of the video sequence was the most dazzling display of colour after the plane had crossed overhead and was closer to the Sun, at this time I had also switched from video footage to taking stills. Aircraft en route from Auckland, New Zealand to Doha, Qatar. Height 30,492 ft, Speed 793 km/h, Track 300°. Image Date 13 June 2019. Qatar Airways The Boeing Company Australian Aviation Canon Australia Aeronews AVIATION WEEK #qatarairways #boeing #boeing777 #b777 #condensation #contrails #brisbane #aviationphotography #rainbow #planespotting #planespotter #airplanelovers #aviationlovers #aircraft #aviation #aviationporn #planeporn

Posted by ePixel Aerospace on Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Photographer Michael Marston described the scene as a "dazzling display of colour after the plane had crossed overhead and was closer to the Sun.

"The seeing conditions were just about perfect on the day, being in Winter with slightly cooler conditions and little air disturbance looking directly upwards to 9.3 km."

More beautiful aerial photos taken by ePixel Aerospace and their incredibly long lenses can be seen on their facebook page.

Contrails forming behind an A340 aircraft at 9600 m flying out of Beijing. Photo / Jeff Well via Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre
Contrails forming behind an A340 aircraft at 9600 m flying out of Beijing. Photo / Jeff Well via Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre

These rainbow contrails are difficult to see with the naked eye, and require perfect lighting conditions.

They have nothing to do with plane exhaust fumes, but instead an unexpected property of aerodynamics.

Formed by the wings of planes at high altitude, the vapour trails appear when air pressure falls having been displaced by the plane and causing moisture to condensate and freeze into a trail of fine droplets and ice crystals.

This trail can act as a prism refracting light into spectacular rainbow colours, providing a light show for those below.

Advertisement