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Sonic Boom Sound Meaning And Why People In Bengaluru Heard It On May 20

What is the sonic boom sound that was heard in Bengaluru yesterday? Know all about the explosion-like sound which was heard by many in Bengaluru on May 20.

sonic boom sound

An unprecedented loud thundering noise created a storm of worries in Bengaluru yesterday. Bengaluru residents in locations like International Airport, Kalyan Nagar, MG road, Marathahalli, Whitefield, Sarjapur, Electronic city, to name a few, heard a loud sound on May 20 which raised fear of an earthquake.

Officials tried to find out the real reason for the loud sounds and it was soon revealed that there was actually no earthquake instead it was a sonic boom sound. The loud sound came from the routine IAF Test Flight with a supersonic profile. 

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What is sonic boom sound and why is it so loud?

  • According to NASA, a sonic boom sound is a thundering noise which is created by aircraft or any aerospace vehicle which flies overhead faster than the speed of the sound.
  • These loud sounds are called sonic boom sound as they generate a large amount of sound energy and sound similar to an explosion or a thunderburst.
  • Anything that travels faster than the speed of sound is called supersonic.
  • When objects travel through the air, the molecules are pushed aside with an immense force which creates a shock wave. These waves are just like the waves created by a boat moving in water.
  • The bigger and heavier the aircraft is, the more air it displaces and the more sound it makes. Thus, large supersonic aircraft were known to be specifically loud and startling and even caused damage to some structures in their path of flight. The popular supersonic transport, Concorde aircraft, was the last supersonic aircraft that was banned in October 2003. 

 As the supersonic object moves, this conical region also moves behind it and when the cone passes over the observer, only then will they briefly experience the sonic boom sound.

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Sonic boom sounds in Bengaluru

The Whitefield Police made investigations into the incident after observing the explosion-like sounds in many parts of the city. Many people were assuming that the thundering sounds came from an explosion or an earthquake. Meanwhile, the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Management Center (KSNDMC) confirmed that activity reported was not an earthquake.

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The Defence Ministry stated that it was routine IAF Test Flight with a supersonic profile and ruled out the possibility of it being an earthquake. The Defence Ministry tweeted saying that it was a routine IAF Test Flight which started from Bengaluru Airport and flew in the allotted airspace outside the city limits. 

The aircraft belonged to the Aircraft Systems and Testing Establishment whose test pilots and flight test engineers test out the aeroplanes. He elaborated that the sonic boom was heard while the aircraft was decelerating from supersonic to subsonic speed. 



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