One of my favorite photos from last weeks Ares 1-X launch showed a very defined shock collar developing around the vehicle. Shock collars, shock eggs, or vapor cones are also known as the Prandtl-Glauert singularity occur when a drop of air pressure cause condensation around a craft traveling at transonic speeds.
Wikipedia article on Prandtl-Glauert singularity
Here are a few of my favorite rocket shock collars:

ares1-X_shock-collar

Ares 1-X shock collar

 

Apollo_11_launch-shock-collar

Apollo 11 shock collar

shuttle-shock-cloud

Shuttle shock collar

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