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Ship, Kelvin Wakes
A closer look at the ship wakes in slide #9 reveals three ships, traveling in formation, producing nested bow wakes or Kelvin wakes. Lord Kelvin's theory, published more than a century ago, showed that a ship would generate a pattern of divergent and transverse waves off the centerline of the ship, and the resultant V-shaped wake would not vary with ship type or speed. Calculations from this photograph may reveal how fast these ships were traveling. We can deduce from the perfect state of preservation of the Kelvin wakes for some distance behind the ships that they are traveling fairly fast since the wakes have not had time to deteriorate. We could also calculate the shape of the hulls.
STS-61A, October-November 1985. Picture #61A-200-046(d)