A US airline is offering a flight tracking the solar eclipse as it moves across the country. A special charter flight will follow the solar eclipse as it happens on August 21 this year, providing above-cloud views to passengers.
The Alaska Airlines flight will depart from Portland, Oregon at 7:30 am local time, and travel down the West Coast, giving spectacular views of the Moon as it transits across the face of the Sun.
The airline did a similar flight last year, to view the solar eclipse over Honolulu. This video shows a passenger's view from the flight, which is pretty impressive.
So how do you get aboard the flight? So far, it's invite only, but soon Alaskan Airlines will be offering seats as a prize to their followers on social media.
“As an airline, we are in a unique position to provide a one-of-a-kind experience for astronomy enthusiasts,” Alaska’s vice president of marketing, Sangita Woerner, said in a press release.
“Flying high above the Pacific Ocean will not only provide one of the first views, but also one of the best."
The contest will begin on July 21, and offers one lucky winner and a guest a place on the flight, alongside a plane-full of astronomy enthusiasts.
But for those who don't manage to get tickets (which, let's face it, will be most of you) don't despair. A partial eclipse will be visible across most of the USA, and a total eclipse can be seen from the center of the country.
The eclipse will pass through 14 states during the course of August 21, including Oregon, Kansas, and Illinois. The Moon will take over three hours to cross the Sun, but the total eclipse (where the Moon is completely in front of the Sun) will last around two minutes, depending on where you're viewing it from.
This will be the first time a total eclipse has crossed the US since 1918, which has led to a lot of people booking up hotels across the States long in advance. But if you happen to live in the US you'll at least see a partial eclipse come August 21.
All you'll have to do is get some protective eyewear, look up, and pray to the weather gods for clear skies.