DR GARY SETTLES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR GARY SETTLES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Rifle shot, coloured shadowgraph. Shadowgraphy is a type of flow visualisation, similar to but simpler than schlieren photography. Disturbances in an air flow can be seen by the shadows they cast. This shadowgram captures an instant during the firing of an AK-47 assault rifle. The propulsion gases and a spherical muzzle-blast wave are shown, ahead of which travels the bullet at supersonic speed, with sweptback waves. The image has been exposed for only 1 microsecond in order to freeze the motion.
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