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The distortion you see in the air is due the refraction of light through the higher density air caused by the compressing pressure wave.

When an object passes through the air, it creates a series of pressure waves in front of it and behind it, similar to the bow and stern waves created by a boat. These waves travel at the speed of sound, and as the speed of the object increases, the waves are forced together, or compressed, because they cannot “get out of the way” of each other, eventually merging into a single shock wave at the speed of sound. This critical speed is known as Mach 1 and is approximately 1,225 km/h (761 mph) at sea level and 20 °C (68 °F).