That Sonic Boom Came From Maryland

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An F35
An F35

The New York area heard a mysterious sonic boom on Thursday. The Richter scale picked up a reading in New Jersey, but it turns it originated a few states away.

The sound sent shock waves along the New York and New Jersey coast. The U.S. Geological Survey picked up a reading, but it was from above instead of below.

The alarming event registered nine sonic booms in a 90-minute period. Sonic booms happen when jets are traveling faster than the speed of sound.

The booms were eventually traced to fighter jets. The Navy said the source was fighter jets from  from Naval Air Station Pauxtent River. One of the jets, an F-35C, can reach speeds of up to 1200 mph.

The base is one of the prime test spots for such flights. An area off the coast of the Eastern Shore has been designated Test Track because of all the fights. According to a Navy spokeswoman, the flights happen almost daily, but are rarely felt on land.

Stephen Babcock

Stephen Babcock is the editor of Baltimore and an editor-at-large of Baltimore Fishbowl.

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  1. Back when the Concorde was flying, it wasn’t so unusual to hear a sonic boom. When my husband and I were in Israel last year, a jet broke the sound barrier, and everyone in our group hit the ground, until we realized what the sound actually was. It is still remarkable to me and a testament to human ingenuity, that we have enabled man to travel faster than the speed of sound!

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