A small google earth enigma July 24, 2007Posted by dorigo in computers, games, internet, travel.
I was lazily playing with Google Earth this morning, when I discovered something weird. If you go to the Frankfurt airport vicinities, at coordinates 50°03’04″N, 8°36’43” E, you will see a Lufthansa A340 airbus taking off eastward, as in the picture below.
As you can see, there are three separate images of the plane, separated by about 630 meters. That means that the pictures composing the frame have been taken at 6 second intervals, if we assume a take-off speed of about 360 km/h (I haven’t checked, but it is the right order of magnitude). Now, the first riddle is about the shadows. If one looks closely, one understands that the pictures were taken at about noon, with the sun projecting shadows of buildings, cars, and road signs northward – at least, that is what happens to all objects in the picture (N is on the left in the picture above), save the plane! The A340 appears to project shadows westwards instead. How is it possible ?
Another riddle concerns the cars on the highway. It appears that there are only two images for them. For instance, look at the following four vehicles in the picture below: a red car, a white van, a short yellow truck, and a long white truck.
I have looked on all the highways nearby, and I could only find pairs of vehicles – but the planes are three. Maybe I did not look close enough ? What is your explanation ?