Ads are being blocked

For us to continue writing great stories, we need to display ads.

Un-block Learn more


Please select the extension that is blocking ads.

Ad Block Plus Ghostery uBlock Other Blockers

Please follow the steps below


Ever See a Total Solar Eclipse From an Airplane?

Now you can, thanks to a specially rerouted Alaska Airlines flight.

A total solar eclipse is an awesome sight—during a livestream from Micronesia yesterday (or today in Micronesian time), crowds roared and birds exploded from trees as the sun morphed into a black pit rimmed with flaming “diamond rings.”

But an even-more profound spectacle might be catching the same eclipse from a plane, as passengers did during a trip to Hawaii on Alaska Airlines Flight 870. The airliner had rerouted the plane to take advantage of the eclipse—even cleaning that omnipresent hair-or-face-or-what-the-heck-else grease off its windows for better viewing—and it looks like the effort paid off, to judge from this picture from flight attendants:

There’s also this beaut of a shot from KOMO-TV reporter Morgan Chesky:

The views from lower altitudes weren’t that shabby, either. Here are some of the better ones:

Solar Eclipse sunrise seen from Phuket, Thailand
Solar Eclipse - November 13, 2012

Good news: We observed the total eclipse! The full story will be posted later. Meanwhile, enjoy this video recorded...

Posted by Earth to Sky Calculus on Tuesday, March 8, 2016

About the Author

  • John Metcalfe
    John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.