What Caused the Sonic Booms in New Jersey?

VideoVideo related to what caused the sonic booms in new jersey?2016-01-28T17:16:48-05:00

A series of mysterious sonic booms, first believed to be an earthquake, rattled New Jersey on Thursday, the U.S. Geological Survey says.

The booms could be heard and shaking felt from southern New Jersey to Long Island, New York, and along the Long Island Sound in Connecticut, according to the USGS and
reports on Twitter.

The USGS says the first sonic boom was near Hammonton, New Jersey, at about 1:24 p.m. At least nine other booms were recorded in the next hour and a half.



But what caused the sonic booms? Sonic booms occur when a plane flies faster than the speed of sound, or supersonic.

According to NASA, a sonic boom “is the thunder-like noise a person on the ground hears when an aircraft or other type of aerospace vehicle flies overhead faster than the speed of sound or supersonic. Air reacts like a fluid to supersonic objects. As objects travel through the air, the air molecules are pushed aside with great force and this forms a shock wave much like a boat creates a bow wave. The bigger and heavier the aircraft, the more air it displaces.”

In this case, the U.S. military has confirmed an F-35C Joint Strike Fighter jet created a “number of sonic booms” off the coast of New Jersey during test flights, NBC News reports.

In this handout photo provided by the U.S. Navy, an F-35C Lightening II carrier variant Joint Strike Fighter board the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz. (Getty)

An F-35C Joint Strike Fighter, like the one that caused sonic booms Thursday off New Jersey, is seen aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz. (U.S. Navy/Getty)

The video below shows what happens when the fighter jet breaks the sound barrier during a flight near Edwards Air Force base in California:

F-35 Sonic BoomWhile recently filming this test of a small NASA UAV anti-collision system in the R-2058 restricted range near Edwards Air Force Base, we were suddenly rocked by the deafening sonic boom of a F-35 joint strike fighter breaking the sound barrier almost directly overhead. Listen carefully and shortly after the F-35 boom, you may here…2012-07-29T00:00:34Z

The two other booms in the video are from F-16 jets flying along with the F-35C.

According to NBC, the Naval Test Wing Atlantic was running flight tests out of Naval Air Station Pautuxent River in Maryland, which caused the sonic booms.

The military says the F-35 program “is the Department of Defense’s focal point for defining affordable next generation strike aircraft weapon systems for the Navy, Air Force, Marines, and our allies. The F-35 will bring cutting-edge technologies to the battlespace of the future. The JSFs advanced airframe, autonomic logistics, avionics, propulsion systems, stealth, and firepower will ensure that the F-35 is the most affordable, lethal, supportable and survivable aircraft ever to be used by so many warfighters across the globe.”