Sonic Boom Explained: Sound That Scared The Living Daylights Out Of Bangaloreans


For a brief moment, people of Bengaluru were left wondering when they heard strange sounds on May 20 at around 1:20 PM. Some thought it was an earthquake, while some even believed it’s an alien invasion over the silicon city of India.

Sonic Boom Explained: Sound That Scared Half Of Bengaluru


Soon after the incident, scientists confirmed that the sound and vibrations were neither caused by an earthquake or aliens invading the city. It was actually caused by a jet plane that broke the sound barrier causing a phenomenon known as the sonic boom.

What Is Sonic Boom?

Sonic Boom is a sound created by fighter jets when they fly at supersonic speed. A jet or an object achieves supersonic speed when it exceeds the speed of sound. As a result, it creates a loud noise due to the shockwaves created in the atmosphere comprising of a lot of sound energy. It is said that the sound of the sonic boom can be heard from 40 to 50KM away from the source.

For a human ear, sonic boom will sound like an explosion or a thunderclap due to the enormous sound energy produced, things in the surrounding area will have an effect on them. For a jet flight to achieve the sonic boom, it has to travel faster than 1,235 km/h, which is the speed of the sound. A flight flying at a higher altitude will have lesser effects when compared to a flight flying at a lower altitude.

What Happened In Bengaluru?

According to the official tweet from the Ministry of Defence, PRO Bengaluru, they had a routine test flight for a supersonic flight, which took off from the Bengaluru Airport and flew in the allotted airspace outside the city limits.

It was an Aircraft Systems and Testing Establishment (ASTE) aircraft and the sonic boom was heard when the jet aircraft was decelerating from supersonic to subsonic speed between 36,000 and 40000 feet altitude. They have also confirmed that the sonic boom sound can be heard from 60 to 80kms away.


There Is Nothing To Worry

As officials have confirmed that the sound was actually caused by a jet and there is nothing to worry about for people of Bengaluru. However, considering it was a routine test flight how come no one heard this before? There is no answer to this question as of now.

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