World airline traffic patterns

10/13/2009 18:10

This amazing representation shows aircraft flow of traffic departing the North American continent airports like JFK, Newark International and travelling at night to arrive in the UK in the morning Then you will see the flow changing, departing the UK in the morning and flying to the American continent in daylight. This 24 hour observation of all of the large aircraft flights in the world has been condensed down to about 2 minutes.

Like a view from a satellite, from space it looks like a bee hive of activity. You can tell it is summer time in the north by the sun's footprint over the planet. You can see that it doesn't quite set in the extreme north and it doesn't quite rise in the extreme south. I have never seen this before. We are taught about the earth's tilt and how it causes summer and winter in the opposite hemisphere, but to see just what is going on - WOW. With this 24-hour observation of aircraft travel on the earth's surface we get to see the daylight pattern change as our timer 'moves' across the planet (and by noting where the 'sun is shining' in the northern hemisphere, across the top of the 'movie', you can estimate the time of day).

Each yellow dot is a plane in the air. Watch the concentration of the dots change as daylight comes and goes. Want to be an air traffic controller?