shock diamonds

shock diamonds

[′shäk ‚dī·mənz]
(physics)
The shock waves that appear in the exhaust stream of a rocket; they are made visible by their luminosity and describe an approximate diamond configuration in side view.

shock diamonds

A commonly observed diamond-shaped reflection, brilliantly luminous from an afterburner of jet engines, the exhaust of rockets, and space shuttles. These shock diamonds are disc-shaped shock waves, called Mach discs, which are formed as shock waves and re-reflect in the exhaust. Because the shock discs raise the temperature of gases moving through them, excess fuel is ignited, causing the glow recognized as shock diamonds.
References in periodicals archive ?
The first two Edinburgh riders in action in the opening race, former Diamonds' skipper Derek Sneddon and Newcastlebased Andrew Tully, know the track well enough and will be out to shock Diamonds Mark Lemon and Christian Henry and get their side off to a good start.