(CNN)- NASA has released first-ever images showing supersonic jets interacting with shockwaves in a sonic boom.
Advanced photo technology was used to capture the T-38’s breaking the sound barrier. The tech was able to visualize the intersecting pressure waves which was a first, according to NASA. The agency says the key was timing. The T-38s flew in formation directly below a plane outfitted with the imaging system. The jets had to break the sound barrier at the precise moment they passed under the plane. NASA says the data collected from the test will help their understanding of shockwaves- it may even allow future jets to be designed break the sound barrier without the loud “sonic boom.”