Hacker News Re-Imagined

Stealth bomber in flight on Google Maps

  • 2244 points
  • 6 months ago

  • @edge17
  • Created a post

Stealth bomber in flight on Google Maps


@olliej 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Potentially dumb question - how do people even find these things???

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@anonu 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Considering the 1000s of planes flying over the USA at any given moment, surprising this is the first time I see a plane captured in mid-flight.

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@msisk6 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

I live on a farm very close to this area.

All the B-2s are based at nearby Whiteman Air Force Base. They fly over often -- one even fly over my farm today about an hour ago.

This one was probably on final approach during the summer when the winds are usually out of the south and was probably about 2,000 feet above the ground.

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@MontyCarloHall 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Interesting how the three separate R/G/B images are taken independently a few ~seconds~ milliseconds apart, with a different color filter placed over the image sensor.

I assume this is to maximize resolution, since no Bayer interpolation [0] is needed to demosaic the output of a traditional image sensor that integrates the color filters onto the sensor pixels themselves. As these satellites are not intended to photograph things in motion, the color channel alignment artifacts seen here are a rare, small price to pay for vastly improved resolution and absence of demosaicing artifacts.

[0] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayer_filter

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@dougSF70 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

If you look at the photo of the B-2 on the ground I think you can make our the 14 hangars where they would park them overnight (I heard street crime is pretty hot on Whitman AFB) to the right of the staging area.

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@dillondoyle 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

I was googling to see what shape matched that and found this. Looks like not the first time this (probably b2?) type of plane was caught on candid camera ;0

https://www.kmbc.com/article/satellite-image-b-2-stealth-bom...

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@anormalpapier 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Not so stealth eh?

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@soheil 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Given the distance between the different colors in the photograph and the internal refresh rate of the camera one should be able to calculate the speed that the plane was traveling at.

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@qrohlf 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Interesting how you can see the chromatic aberration on the bomber but not the ground. I guess that this implies that the optical and/or software correction that they're doing only works within a _very_ narrow focal plane, given the relative proximity of the bomber to the ground.

This is kind of surprising, because if the tolerances for avoiding chromatic aberration are that small, whatever is collecting this data would have to be constantly adjusting its optics or software based on the topography.

EDIT: it's not chromatic aberration, it's pixel misalignment caused by the object being in motion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=29627917

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@syngrog66 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

that's me. sorry guys. my bad

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@lbj 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Imagine the chills you'd get seeing that on GEarth if you're just looking to see a picture of your fields.

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@MobileVet 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Its twin sitting on the tarmac at Whiteman

https://goo.gl/maps/tvNapjiLCJMVa3fx6

Edit: grammar

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@t0bia_s 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

There is a shadow of stealth bomber: https://goo.gl/maps/VWwtt1PbLJVkbiBS9

I'm curious... Will google delete it too?

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@titusblair 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

How in the world do people find these images LOL :) Awesome!

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@omnomynous 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙



@GauntletWizard 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Awesome! There was a commercial jet caught in the imagery of Downtown San Mateo for about a year, and I always loved looking at it when I was looking up an address. It's cool how much more pronounced the separate RGB is - It was pretty clear even on that commercial jet, but it's very psychedelic here.

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@jdlyga 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

afternoon delight

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@thih9 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Offtopic, it takes me 6 clicks to access google maps (click to “customize” privacy options, select “off” three times, “continue”, and “use web” when asked about downloading an app). I’m on iOS and use safari in private mode. How are others dealing with this? Do you accept the terms or do you do something different?

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@soheil 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Now that we have an exact match of what a plane like this looks like from the point of view of a satellite, one could scan the entire Google maps for this same image.

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@hellmundus 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

In Sīnīs, this kind of thing wouldn't see the light. We aren't supposed to see anything like this. Also that bird is beautiful, if only it weren't designed to kill.

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@benatkin 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

These are the sort of posts I can do without. It's like the stuff that goes to the top of reddit. Reddit has a way to keep frontpage of your home page for a reason.

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@soheil 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Interesting that Google hasn't taken this down yet or at least blur out the map tile.

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@jlkuester7 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

One of these flew low over my house in Kansas City last year. It was scheduled to do a fly-by of a local hospital so I was out on the porch watching for it. I saw it pass several miles to the south and went back inside thinking the show was over. A few minutes later I am sitting on the toilet when the house literally starts shaking. I run outside (barely getting my pants up...) in time to see it come right over top of the house at low altitude! (Apparently it had just been circling before to line up for the approach.)

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@rmrfchik 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Now I know bombers are fed by green trails.

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@teodorlu 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

The aircraft seems to be a Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit.

> The Northrop (later Northrop Grumman) B-2 Spirit, also known as the Stealth Bomber, is an American heavy strategic bomber, featuring low observable stealth technology designed for penetrating dense anti-aircraft defenses. Designed during the Cold War, it is a flying wing design with a crew of two.[1][3] The bomber is subsonic and can deploy both conventional and thermonuclear weapons, such as up to eighty 500-pound class (230 kg) Mk 82 JDAM GPS-guided bombs, or sixteen 2,400-pound (1,100 kg) B83 nuclear bombs. The B-2 is the only acknowledged aircraft that can carry large air-to-surface standoff weapons in a stealth configuration.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_Grumman_B-2_Spirit

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@dougSF70 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Here is a stealth Bomber on the ground... https://maps.app.goo.gl/eJ2SU9SzE8D6JaZN9

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@k_sze 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Is there a way to view this map link without turning off incognito mode in Google Maps? It keeps bugging me.

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@jwithington 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

how do people find these things

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@celsopitta 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

This technique of using different filters on top of a monochromatic sensor is also used in astrophotography, it helps with image resolution. You want as much pixels per inch as possible so instead of placing multiple narrow band receptors in your sensor you use a single wide band receptor as your pixel and place a filter in front of the camera, for a RGB camera for example you triple the total number of sensors by doing this.

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@joering2 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Interesting in itself there is this, but we never manage to find similar gems for UFOs.

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@aawalrik323 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Parked aircraft, same model, just south at Whiteman AFB.

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.7249682,-93.5601479,19z/data...

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@xuhu 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

For a few minutes I was convinced this one had crashed on that mountain top: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Lake+Tarni%C8%9Ba/@46.7229...

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@CarVac 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

The measured wingspan (using the Google Maps distance measure tool) is around 200 feet whereas the measured wingspan of a B-2 on the ground at nearby Whiteman AFB is the nominal 172 feet, so its altitude AGL is roughly 14% of the altitude of the camera plane that took the photo.

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@Quentak 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Screenshot for when it will have been deleted by Google https://i.imgur.com/toSC5a0.png .

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@cblconfederate 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

He thought he could hide from google

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@ricardobayes 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Is that an F-117 Nighthawk?

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@jacquesm 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

What an interesting design for a lawnmower. Joking aside, better make a screenshot because this is liable to be blurred soon.

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@mynameismon 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Archived before it's taken down: https://archive.ph/E8xih

(don't spam click it, it is already extremely slow to load, the last thing we want to do is DDOS archive.ph)

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@jmacd 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

To many of us these are technological marvels. Defenders of our lifestyle and enabler of our ambitions and dreams.

To many people in the world these are insidious death machines that lurk unimpeded and can rain down death on entire villages. The embodiment of evil.

Without peeling back the veneer of right and wrong, I think it's worth pausing to both appreciate the wonder of the machine and to consider the implications of its existence.

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@anovikov 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Not surprising really because it's less than 40km from Whiteman AFB.

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@sandos 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

I was so confused over how a small GA aircraft would be abandoned in the woods just outside the town where I lived. Until I realized it was probably flying when being photographed!

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@snshn 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

It was photo bombing

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@VWWHFSfQ 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

This makes me wonder. Obviously everyone in the world knows that USA operates a few dozen "stealth bombers" and has for the last couple decades, or so. Has any other country developed these kinds of aircrafts? Similarly, submarines. USA operates many stealth submarines as well. Does any other country operate stealth submarines?

I'm aware that USA spends about 1 tril a year on military stuff but these just seems bizarre to me.

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@senthilnayagam 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

it looks neat. so much to learn in this thread about satellite imagery and calculations.

it makes sense to use crowdsourcung to watch earth with real-time satellite imagery, and later augment it with machine learning to find potentially interesting objects.

I would be more excited with UFO findings, or a redbull base jumper, or proverbial superman/ironman flying.

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@sudosysgen 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Hmm. Perhaps networked imaging satellites is a viable way to limit the use of stealth aircraft?

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@tinyhouse 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Can someone explain? I don't see anything, just a location in MO.

Update: oh cool! I see it after moving to Satellite and zooming in.

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@saberdancer 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Now a real catch would be to get a B21 raider or some other prototype/secret airplane.

There were a couple of sightings of it - usually it was so high that it's hard to be sure but it looked different enough to B2.

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@Jiocus 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Artist James Bridle calls them "Rainbow planes" and has used this in his art.

Rainbow Plane 002: Kiev. October 29, 2014: https://booktwo.org/notebook/rainbow-plane-002-kiev/

Rainbow Planes: https://www.flickr.com/photos/stml/sets/72157637938061015/

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@fred_is_fred 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

I would love to know if this was found other than randomly poking around and if so how it worked specifically. "out of place shapes in the middle of fields" might find out some other neat stuff too.

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@zeitg3ist 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Not a stealth bomber but this Google Maps picture from a few years ago presents a similar effect: https://i.imgur.com/P8XVo.jpeg

(Sorry for the imgur link, I can't find a proper source)

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@IMSAI8080 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Looks like St. Louis is about to get some freedom.

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@darrery 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

I'm wondering in which what is the purpose of the stealth bomber on that specific day.

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@debbiedowner 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

So how fast is it going according to the blur? 600mph?

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@metaphor 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Literally 30-min drive north of Whiteman...not a coincidence.

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@mensetmanusman 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

The new normal of 100% satellite coverage and high resolution daily pictures means future wars will be fought under water by the underdog.

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@ericmay 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Bit of an aside but I like that the B-2 Spirit has different "Spirit of..." for each aircraft. There are Spirit of New York, Spirit of Ohio, etc. [1]

Also if you're ever in Ohio and you're an aviation or engineering geek, or have kids, or are looking for something to do the USAF Museum is pretty cool! [2]

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_Grumman_B-2_Spirit

[2] https://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/

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@janmo 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Not so stealth anymore I guess

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@mattrighetti 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

How does people find thins kind of stuff willingly?

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@jp57 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Look out, St. Louis!

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@twic 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Looking at Street View in that direction from the road along the north side of the property, you can see an object in flight:

https://goo.gl/maps/cJUe8YqWVM6v9Fme8

I think that's just a bird though!

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@omoikane 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Looks like this was first posted to reddit by user "Hippowned": https://www.reddit.com/r/Damnthatsinteresting/comments/rkl23...

And then various news sites picked it up, such as this one: https://www.techradar.com/news/eagle-eyed-redditor-spots-a-f...

The link to Google Maps appears to be lifted from the above, but credits to the original redditor who found it was lost.

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@unobatbayar 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

The design of B-2 is so beautiful.

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@Ziggy_Zaggy 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Very impressive.

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@blauditore 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

This makes me wonder if military operations also take into account satellite positions when timing operations. Theoretically, having access to a satellite live feed and good processing software, one could potentially detect stealth bombers visually, probably even at night thanks to widespread light pollution (the plane would appear as a dark spot). Or am I missing something?

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@kcb 6 months

Replying to @edge17 🎙

Was hoping it was a B-21 Raider.

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