I traveled 30,000 feet for the solar eclipse

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8, I agreed for the opportunity to report on this historical space event — the last total solar eclipse to touch the U.S. mainland for the next 20 years, according to NASA.
She had conducted research on an airplane during the 2017 solar eclipse and would be flying a telescope again this time to survey the sun’s corona in infrared light.
Her journey aboard a Gulfstream V jet, run by the National Center for Atmospheric Research, would take her even higher, to 45,000 feet.
As Delta passengers at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport arrived at the gate on Monday, the airline greeted them with a massive balloon archway and baskets of solar eclipse safety glasses.
For the eclipse flight, Delta worked with the Federal Aviation Administration to design a flight path with special turns in the air allowing passengers on both sides of the aircraft to get optimal views.
We would intercept the eclipse over Northeast Arkansas toward Southeast Missouri, said Warren Weston, a Delta meteorologist on the flight.
Passengers who had clutched their solar eclipse glasses like rosaries started to put them on.
You can watch Mashable Space Reporter Elisha Sauers on her solar eclipse flight on Mashable’s X/Twitter or Instagram.

NEUTRAL

For a brief moment today, the moon will temporarily remove the sun from the sky, and millions of people will travel to the cities along the path of the total solar eclipse, hoping for clear skies.

However, some shadow chasers chose to book a flight that virtually guaranteed an unhindered view above the clouds rather than take a chance on the April showers.

I was given the opportunity to take one of the roughly 200 seats available on Delta Airlines’ A321neo commercial flight from Dallas to Detroit on April 1. 8. When it came to covering this historic space event—the final total solar eclipse to affect the U.S.—I agreed. s. NASA states that the mainland will not see spacecraft for the next 20 years. However, my response wasn’t a resounding “yes.”. Combining vertigo with a work deadline at 30,000 feet seemed like a surefire way to have a truly memorable panic attack for someone who suffers from motion sickness on a regular basis.

However, I couldn’t help but think of an exchange I had with Jenna Samra, a solar physicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. She will be flying a telescope once more to survey the sun’s corona in infrared light. She had studied the solar eclipse of 2017 while conducting research on an airplane. At 45,000 feet, she would ascend even further on a Gulfstream V aircraft operated by the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Samra acknowledged that even though she had this exceptional chance, she had not once actually looked at the eclipse. Rather than sharing her personal experience of totality with me, she chose to focus her attention on a computer screen and described the sounds of other passengers screamed as they ricocheted through the metal airborne tube. Her thesis was born out of those three valuable minutes of data, recorded in the shadows.

I wondered if working through the peak moment made her regret not being able to experience it herself.

“I believe not,” she replied to me. There will undoubtedly be an eclipse in the sky, so I really want to be in the air. Regarding “seeing” it or “not seeing” it, I have some control over that. ****.

A deep-seated need for power? Yes, that’s something I can relate to.

Complete solar eclipses occur approximately every two years in some part of the world, but it takes 375 years on average for one of these astronomical occurrences to occur again in the same location.

The sun’s corona, with its milky light, is the main attraction. This swaddle of extremely hot gas is typically bleached out of the sky due to the sun’s face being a million times brighter. The corona doesn’t appear and extend into space beyond the moon’s rim until the moon totally obscures the sun from Earth.

Even with everything we know about the universe, there are still mysteries in our planetary neighborhood, such as the reason behind the constant corona’s significantly higher temperature than the sun. It is these mysteries that call on humanity to seek answers. They bring us together in our search for solutions. They also serve as a constant reminder of how little we are in the grand scheme of things.

Light Speed Mashable.

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Never one to turn down a reporting assignment, I packed my motion sickness pills and worked myself into a frenzy the entire weekend before the flight. However, if Samra could construct a thesis in just three minutes in the dark, I could definitely craft a compelling tale in just four.

At the gate of Dallas Fort Worth International Airport on Monday, baskets of solar eclipse safety glasses and a huge balloon archway welcomed passengers from Delta. Along with her husband, John Walker, Jeanne Walker attempted to balance two cardboard solar viewers on her dog, Maddigan. Jeanne, who arrived from Colorado, expressed her gratitude for being seated by the window.

John commented, “She shares well.”.

“Not today,” she remarked mischievously.

James Anderson, Justin Anderson, and Jeffrey Anderson, Julie Anderson’s three sons, said she kind of forced the trip on them.

She remarked, “I didn’t disclose what it was, but I informed their principals that we were missing school days for something tremendous.”.

Delta collaborated with the Federal Aviation Administration to create a flight path for the eclipse flight that included unique air turns that provided passengers on both sides of the aircraft with the best possible views. As the aircraft rose in altitude, the passengers took advantage of the complimentary snacks, which included SunChips and Moon Pies, and monitored the flight tracker located on the backs of their seats to determine our current altitude. According to flight attendant Warren Weston of Delta, “we would intercept the eclipse over Northeast Arkansas toward Southeast Missouri.”.

With the moon starting its big shuffle in front of the sun after the alleged “first contact,” the main cabin gradually became darker. Starting to put on their solar eclipse glasses, passengers who had clutched them like rosaries did so.

The tone changed. Suddenly, I felt a primal urge to thump my chest and beat a drum as I scanned the sky with my eclipse glasses for bright light. Captain Alex Howell, the pilot, said he would tilt the aircraft to allow the sun to lower itself into our line of sight.

Yes, it was present. Though not entirely, I did find the sun. Something orange and fingernail-shaped was just visible peeking out. The radiant white halo was absent.

“That was it,” a woman said, appearing from behind me. “We made it through. ****.

Other than laughing with my seatmate Kasey Stiles, I had no idea what to do. A month ago, Stiles informed me of her stage 4 cancer diagnosis. Traveling and checking things off the proverbial bucket list had been her thing since then. Observing the eclipse qualified as one.

She wasn’t let down because there are many unexpected events in life. Her thoughts had already strayed to her next trip to Niagara Falls. She was about to get into a rental car with Drew Heilman, her traveling companion.

She asked, “I mean, what can you do?”. “It’s not for lack of effort. “.”.

On Mashable’s X/Twitter or Instagram, you can follow Mashable Space Reporter Elisha Sauers during her solar eclipse journey.

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