ADVERTISEMENT
  About the SA Blog Network













Helicopter Halos

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


Email   PrintPrint



Video of the Week #103, August 1st, 2013:

From: The Beautiful Science of Helicopter Halos by Kyle Hill at Overthinking It.

Source: Fox News.

When a helicopter descends into a sandy environment, it creates a brilliant halo that is a stark contrast to the solemnity of battle. But scientifically, what are these miniature galaxies adorning helicopter blades? It’s due to something called the the Kopp-Etchells Effect. The downward thrust from the blades kicks up a cloud of sand, and the blades smash into millions of these tiny particles. Every so often, the metal blasted from the blades produces a miniature meteor shower.



Previous: Beauty is in the eye of the bee-holder More
Video of the Week
Next: Simulated Surgery




Rights & Permissions

Comments 1 Comment

Add Comment
  1. 1. Percival 4:40 am 08/2/2013

    Very cool. Looks pyrophoric to me too, but the only way to be sure would involve a sandblaster and a spectroscope. Has anyone asked the helicopter blade tip manufacturers if they’ve done this?

    Link to this

Add a Comment
You must sign in or register as a ScientificAmerican.com member to submit a comment.

More from Scientific American

Scientific American Holiday Sale

Give a Gift &
Get a Gift - Free!

Give a 1 year subscription as low as $14.99

Subscribe Now! >

X

Email this Article

X