Orange County Contrails: A Followup

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A week ago I posted a picture of some contrails that seemed like they were rising at a surprisingly steep angle. I got convinced pretty quickly that, in fact, this is just an optical illusion created by a plane coming around the curve of the earth from south of here. And of course, that’s what it is. Here’s a pair of pictures I took from my backyard this morning:

So, fine, they’re just airplanes. But I do still have a question. Unless I’ve completely lost my mind, I don’t recall seeing contrails like this until recently. Then, starting a couple of months ago, I started seeing them all the time. What’s up with that? I assume that they only show up when the sun is nice and bright and shining from the right spot in the sky, but surely it’s been doing that for the past 50 years? Even if it’s a seasonal thing, it’s been doing it for the past 50 winters. So why have I only recently noticed this? Is it really just a case of me being completely oblivious for the past few decades?

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