YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsSonic Booms

Sonic Booms

July 30, 1989
Residents from Long Beach to San Clemente reported a series of window-rattling jolts, but authorities said the shaking was probably caused by sonic booms and not an earthquake. Robert Finn, a spokesman at Caltech, said that no seismic activity was recorded in the area, and he theorized that the jolts resulted from sonic booms or Navy gunfire.
April 10, 2014 | By Paul Whitefield
Was that an earthquake, or an ordinary sonic boom, that rattled Southern California on Wednesday afternoon - or was it the return of Aurora, the nation's long-rumored, never-confirmed, some-say-mythological super-secret, super-fast spy plane? Whew. Steady now, X-Files folks. First, here's what The Times reported : About 1 p.m. Wednesday, folks from Malibu to Orange County felt what many assumed was an earthquake. For example, Scott Conner, who lives in Malibu, said the shaking was so intense that it almost toppled one of his computer monitors.
July 30, 1989
Residents from Long Beach to San Clemente reported a series of window-rattling jolts Saturday afternoon, but authorities said the shaking was probably caused by sonic booms and not an earthquake. Robert Finn, a spokesman at Caltech, said that no seismic activity was recorded in the area, and theorized that the jolts resulted from sonic booms or Naval gunfire.
April 10, 2014 | By Rong-Gong Lin II
It was a lone F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jet that produced the sonic boom Wednesday that produced the rumbling so intense some Los Angeles and Orange County residents insisted it was an earthquake. The confirmation Thursday from the U.S. Navy came as some questioned that the rumbling came from an aircraft, while others suggested it was a test of the fabled Aurora spy plane. “It's maddening these things draw up these conspiracy theories,” said Peter Merlin, an aerospace historian and an author on military and experimental aircraft.
January 27, 1993 | MACK REED
Sonic booms could rattle Ventura County on Thursday morning as supersonic jets from the Naval Air Weapons Station at Point Mugu take part in war games about 60 miles off the coast. The booming noises may reach coastal communities between 6 and 11:30 a.m. as aircraft from Point Mugu, such as the F-14 Tomcat and F/A-18 Hornet, break the sound barrier, said Marge Hayes, a spokeswoman for the base.
May 13, 1998 | SUSAN DEEMER
Residents should brace themselves for more loud booms and rumblings all day Thursday. The U.S. Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton is planning to drop 500-pound bombs from F-18 Hornet jets near the center of the base throughout the day as part of regularly scheduled exercises. Officials are warning residents that the explosions may be heard as far as 50 miles away.
July 19, 1986
Phone calls from earthquake-jittery residents flooded police switchboards after a sharp jolt rattled the Los Angeles Basin at about 9:30 Friday morning, but experts at Caltech's seismological laboratory in Pasadena said what people felt was probably a sonic boom. The calls to law enforcement agencies and news media indicated that Friday's palpable jolt was felt across a broad band of the metropolitan area, stretching from Malibu on the west to La Verne on the east.
June 28, 1991
A mysterious jolt that shook residents from the San Fernando Valley to the South Bay early Thursday probably was a sonic boom and not an earthquake, scientists said. Kate Hutton of the Caltech Seismological Laboratory said readings from a recording station on Catalina Island showed what appears to be a sonic boom. Sonic booms are explosive sounds usually caused by aircraft traveling at or above the speed of sound. They may rattle windows but do not cause damage.
September 6, 2003 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
NASA says it's found a way to soften the window-rattling impact of the sonic boom from supersonic jets: change the shape of the aircraft. Proof of that long-held theory came in a series of test runs at Edwards Air Force Base near Palmdale. Changes to the skin and nose of a Navy F-5E jet flattened out the sound it produced, dulling the sharp report of the sonic boom into a thud, according to NASA spokeswoman Kathy Barnstorff.
July 2, 2001
When the shuttle, a plane, or any other object travels through air faster than the speed of sound, it creates shock waves that produce sonic booms. Such shock waves are produced at the site of any discontinuity in the craft, such as a wing, but the loudest ones are produced at the nose and the tail. All planes produce two sonic booms, but a jet fighter, for example, is so short and so close to the ground that the two are superimposed and we hear only one.
November 26, 2009 | By Steve Appleford
The KISS Army shows no signs of surrender in 2009. Nearly four decades after the pop-metal quartet first emerged amid fireballs and kabuki makeup, the fans still come. And they bring fresh recruits in the form of teens and toddlers, many in the same black-and-white face paint. In the lobby of the Honda Center in Anaheim on Tuesday, veteran fans watched the parade as they awaited KISS' explosive arrival onstage. "This is huge! KISS is my whole life," declared Robert Edmondson, 43, of Monrovia.
October 7, 2009 | Randy Lewis; August Brown; Greg Kot; Mikael Wood
Rosanne Cash "The List" (Manhattan Records) When Rosanne Cash was 18, her father, music legend Johnny Cash, gave her a list of 100 country, blues, folk and gospel songs he felt it vital that she learn to love. For her latest full-length release, she's chosen a dozen songs from that master list, and she brings the wistful mood that's infused much of her own writing to the material, which uniformly focuses on loss and heartache. The instrumentation is spare, yet elegant; this isn't the stripped-down music Johnny made with producer Rick Rubin in his final years, but it is often haunting just the same.
March 9, 2007 | John M. Glionna, Times Staff Writer
THE Boom is bouncing around the classroom like an overgrown kid. With his bushy gray eyebrows and mad scientist's grin, he's demonstrating the density of methane to 25 rapt teenagers at San Lorenzo Valley High School. "Let's see if we can do this without burning the place up again," he says. "Again?" gasps one girl. Explosions are nothing new to Preston Q. Boomer's physics and chemistry classes.
December 22, 2005 | David Colker, Times Staff Writer
THE home computer is increasingly becoming the home music processing center. It's where we rip tracks from CDs, download new selections from the Internet and make our own mixes. Indeed, the computer has given us more control over our listening choices than ever before. Just one big problem. The room where you have your computer is likely not your favorite place to listen to music.
August 10, 2005 | Veronica Torrejon and Catherine Saillant, Times Staff Writers
A resounding double boom shattered the predawn quiet across Southern California on Tuesday as the space shuttle Discovery sliced through the sky, leaving a trail of screeching car alarms and barking dogs in its wake. The racket was caused by twin sonic booms, the result of an aircraft flying faster than the speed of sound. And Discovery was doing just that as it reentered Earth's atmosphere shortly after 5 a.m. on its way to landing at Edwards Air Force Base.
July 21, 2004 | Steve Appleford, Special to The Times
Sonic Youth is the premier jam band for non-hippies. The sound isn't groovy or soothing, particularly for the uninitiated, and is often as unsettling as it is invigorating. This is what we've come to expect from the New York City group, which held nothing back during its show at the Henry Fonda Theatre on Monday. Songs often began with a delicate, arch melody, subversively simple and odd, before slowly building in speed and intensity to a storm of noise.
A returning space shuttle set off twin sonic booms over Los Angeles early Monday, jolting residents whose nerves have been frayed by the Northridge earthquake and countless aftershocks this year. The safe touchdown by Atlantis and its six-member crew was the third Southern California shuttle landing in three months, but the first two descents approached Edwards Air Force Base from the west and north, so that the booms were barely heard in Los Angeles.
May 22, 1988 | BILL KACZOR, Associated Press
Three ear-shattering booms mark the flight of an F-111 thundering at supersonic speed just 200 feet above a test range in the Florida Panhandle. The fighter-bomber drops an experimental bomb, then the pilot yanks the throttle back to idle, cutting the jet's thrust 90%. In seconds, the plane's speed drops from 940 m.p.h. to just under 600 m.p.h.--a radical maneuver designed to limit noise and damage from sonic booms.
June 4, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
A meteor about the size of a large suitcase flashed across the Northwest sky in the dead of night, setting off booms. Witnesses along a 60-mile swath of the Puget Sound region from the Tacoma area to Whidbey Island and as far as 260 miles to the east said the sky lighted up brilliantly around 2:40 a.m., and many reported booms as if from one or more explosions.
January 17, 2004 | Peter Pae, Times Staff Writer
Above the barren desert where Chuck Yeager cracked the sound barrier and rattled the aviation world nearly six decades ago, researchers are testing the aerospace version of a Midas muffler for supersonic jets. Their goal: to quiet the cannon-like booms emitted by aircraft flying faster than the speed of sound, whose shock waves are strong enough to shatter windows. This week, an F-5E fighter whose shape had been modified by Northrop Grumman Corp. engineers began a series of test flights.
Los Angeles Times Articles