It looks like this plane is bursting through the sound barrier, but actually it is not. What you see in the image is a phenomenon called ‘Prandtl–Glauert singularity’, also known as the ‘transonic tutu’, for its resemblance with the ballerina’s short skirt. It happens when the plane approaches the speed of sound, resulting in a vapor cloud formation. The plane is a F/A-18F Super Hornet.
Found on Popsci
Photo: U.S. Navy/Jarod Hodge