In our efforts to push the boundaries of flow visualization I look to the sound barrier. The beauty of this image lies in the natural phenomena that is occurring, breaking the sound barrier. This image uses Schlieren imaging to depict shock waves. Schlieren imaging allows us to photograph the flow of fluids of varying density. To be able to even reach super sonic speeds is a great scientific feat itself, and to be able to photograph and analyze it at this level is even more so. Understanding the forces at play here and being able to visualize them shows us beauty in modern day aviation and imaging. In this image we can clearly see different air density gradients. This technology allows us to research the possibility of a quiet yet very high-speed aircraft.
Image Link: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/armstrong/features/bosco.html