Picture of the Day: NASA's P-3 Orion Spotted Over Maryland

More

576991main_IMG_3568_full.jpg

In July, NASA flew two Lockheed P-3 Orion planes over northeast Maryland in order to conduct a series of tests on the air quality in the region. They flew both high and low -- sometimes as low as 1,000 feet -- gathering more than 250 soundings from above small towns, the Chesapeake Bay, major interstates and densely populated areas. Maryland resident John Kovasckitz spotted one of the planes and captured this photograph as it headed south by southwest above the Fair Hill loop.

A four-engine plane originally developed for the United States Navy as an anti-submarine surveillance tool in the 1960s, the P-3 Orion now has several operators. NASA uses a modified version for low-altitude heavy-lift science missions, but Aero Union also uses them as does the United States Department of Homeland Security to conduct anti-drug and border patrol duties. At 117 feet long, the P-3 is recognizable for its size, but also its distinctive tail stinger, which was designed to magnetically detect submarines.

View more Pictures of the Day.

Image: John Kovasckitz.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Juice Cleanses: The Worst Diet

A doctor tries the ever-popular Master Cleanse. Sort of.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Juice Cleanses: The Worst Diet

A doctor tries the ever-popular Master Cleanse. Sort of.

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In