Flying is a curious thing to do.
Not only is it miraculous (humans moving through the air at 10km in an aluminum tube), but it gives one a very different perspective on the land below. When I fly, I'm constantly looking out the window at the land and sea below, usually wondering what it is that I'm seeing.
On a recent flight back into San Francisco airport, I was traveling northward (from Los Angeles) over Monterey Bay. And just after we crossed the bay and were passing over the coastal town of Santa Cruz, I noticed several distinctly light patches on the earth below us. Here's what I saw from my seat, with red arrows marking the light patches I could see from the plane and the yellow dotted line marking the flight path:
One of the points of this blog is to teach us the fine art of curiosity--in some ways, I write to figure out what triggers a curious question, and then how to find the answer with clever online research methods.
In this case, the trigger was seeing so many of these very similar light patches of earth in more-or-less a line. When I see things like this, I get curious. Patterns suggest that something is going on. There's no obvious reason why these patches should be here, nor why they should be in a line like this. Is it just an accident? Or is something else going on here?
I really don't know either. But let's take a look this week and see if we can't figure out what's going on. So...
1. What ARE those light patches on the ground?
2. Is there any reason that they would be in a line like this? What's special about this particular are that would cause light patches like this?
To get you started, the patch on the far left of the image is at: 37.029531,-122.153212 , while the patch on the far right of the image is 37.0635053,-121.9324645
Can you figure this one out?
Let us know how you found your way to the answer!