Flight to Hawaii promises prime view of total solar eclipse

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Skygazers from around the country caught a flight from Alaska to Hawaii on Tuesday for prime viewing of a total solar eclipse that will unfold over parts of Indonesia and the Indian and Pacific oceans.

See Full Article

A dozen eclipse enthusiasts were among the 181 passengers on the plane that departed Anchorage for Honolulu. The rare event comes when the moon is close enough to Earth to completely block out the sun.

Joe Rao, an associate astronomer at the American Museum of Natural History's Hayden Planetarium in New York, called Alaska Airlines last fall, explaining that the flight would be in the right place for the eclipse. The route was expected to encounter the darkest shadow of the moon as it passed over Earth.

Problem was, the plane would be passing by nearly a half-hour too soon.

The airline said it rescheduled the flight to depart 25 minutes later, and it is expected to rendezvous with the eclipse's sweet spot nearly 700 miles north of Honolulu. After the schedule tweak, Rao and a dozen other astronomy aficionados booked seats for the big show at 36,000 feet.

Rao, like other self-dubbed "eclipse geeks," was thrilled about setting out to witness his 11th such spectacle.

"It is an experience," he said of watching the sun turn into a giant black disk in the sky. "Every fiber of you gets involved in those few moments when the sun is totally eclipsed."

The eclipse is expected to last just under two minutes. The last total solar eclipse was in March 2015, and the one before that was in 2012.

Craig Small, a semiretired Hayden Planetarium astronomer, was taking off to view his 31st total eclipse. If all goes according to plan, this event will put him over the 100-minute mark in experiencing eclipses.

To mark each viewing, Small carries a special eclipse flag made in 1972.

Also on board was Dan McGlaun, who brought 200 pairs of special filter classes to distribute to other passengers. McGlaun, a project manager who runs eclipse2017.org, will be viewing his 12th total eclipse.

"It's going to be amazing. It always is," he said before boarding. "It's a universal reaction when you see an eclipse. You cheer, you scream, you cry."



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • SpaceX launches rocket with supplies to International Space Station

    Tech & Science CBC News
    A SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft was sent into space Sunday aboard a Falcon 9 rocket, on a mission to deliver supplies to the International Space Station. The launch was the first from Kennedy Space Center since the shuttles were retired six years ago. Source
  • SpaceX trying again to launch rocket from historic moon pad

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- SpaceX is taking another shot at launching a rocket from NASA's historic moon pad. As dawn broke Sunday over Florida's Kennedy Space Center, the unmanned Falcon rocket stood at Launch Complex 39A, poised to deliver supplies to the International Space Station. Source
  • SpaceX launches rocket from NASA's historic moon pad

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA's historic moonshot pad is back in business. A SpaceX Falcon rocket blasted off Sunday morning from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A. It's carrying a load of supplies for the International Space Station. Source
  • SpaceX go for launching rocket from NASA's historic moon pad

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- SpaceX is all set to launch a rocket from NASA's historic moon pad. As the sun rose Saturday over Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the unmanned Falcon rocket stood at Launch Complex 39A, ready to soar. Source
  • SpaceX set to launch rocket from NASA's historic moon pad

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- SpaceX is all set to launch a rocket from NASA's historic moon pad. As the sun rose Saturday over Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the unmanned Falcon rocket stood at Launch Complex 39A, ready to soar. Source
  • SpaceX halts rocket launch from NASA moon pad

    Tech & Science CTV News
    SpaceX will have to wait at least another day to launch from NASA's historic moon pad. Last-minute rocket trouble forced SpaceX to halt Saturday's countdown at Florida's Kennedy Space Center. The unmanned Falcon rocket remains at Launch Complex 39A, waiting to soar on a space station delivery mission. Source
  • Last-second launch delay for SpaceX at historic moon pad

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Last-minute rocket trouble forced SpaceX on Saturday to delay its inaugural launch from NASA's historic moon pad. SpaceX halted the countdown with just 13 seconds remaining. The problem with the second-stage thrust control actually cropped up several minutes earlier. Source
  • Abundant fish draw 1 million penguins to Argentine peninsula

    Tech & Science CTV News
    PUNTA TOMBO, Argentina -- More than a million penguins have travelled to Argentina's Punta Tombo peninsula during this year's breeding season, drawn by an unusual abundance of small fish. Local officials say that's a record number in recent years for the world's largest colony of Magellanic penguins, offering an especially stunning spectacle for the tens of thousands of people who visit the reserve annually. Source
  • Biologists find weird cave life that may be 50,000 years old

    Tech & Science CTV News
    BOSTON -- Scientists examining caves in Mexico have found life trapped in crystals that could be 50,000 years old. Penelope Boston, head of NASA's Astrobiology Institute, on Friday announced the findings of bizarre and ancient microbes in caves in Nica, Mexico. Source
  • Citizen Science: You could find Planet 9

    Tech & Science CBC News
    This is your chance to enter the history books as the discoverer of a ninth planet that astronomers believe is hiding in the outer reaches of our solar system. A space telescope has scanned the skies and may have already seen it, but finding it in the huge data set is proving difficult. Source