Science nugget: Dec 27, 1997
The trans-equatorial interconnecting loop structure developed as we watched in the KSC playbacks on Dec. 26. This pair of images shows one from the 25th on the left for reference. Maybe it's just the illusion of perspective, but this surely looks to me like evidence that the interconnections develop at low altitudes. A time series of images is available but I don't have time to display them right now - but it appears that such an interconnection does not develop piecewise from smaller structures, as one might expect, but instead a previously existing structure of pretty much the final shape simply gets bright. So when did the interconnection happen, and why didn't we see it when it did?