Chase An Eclipse From 44,000 Feet Above Sea Level
If you're an astronomy enthusiast and have anywhere between $600 and $1,600 to throw around, say goodbye to recession travel and hello to your very own eclipse-chasing flight adventure.
On July 22nd, if you haven't already heard, there's going to be a total eclipse visible across Southeast Asia. In the past, the best a tourist could do was fly to the region and watch it from the ground, but Indian company Eclipse Chasers Athenaeum has put together a package that lets people get a little closer to this rare celestial event41,000 feet closer.
Passengers will be flown above the clouds in a new JetLite 737-700, at which point the airplane will chart a path directly below the moon's shadow. At exactly 6:26am local time, the flight will intercept the shadow, providing about 3 minutes worth of eclipse viewing.
The trip's promotional blurb promises that "seeing the Sun's Corona is virtually guaranteed." That assumes you're sitting on the side of the plane with the "sun side windows," which will obviously cost more. If you pay the minimum and sit next to the "earth side windows" all you'll get to see is the lunar shadow. Budget accordingly.
The eclipse is happening at the height of India's monsoon season, which should make for an interesting takeoff and landing. Once above the clouds, though, the view will undoubtedly be spectacular.
[Photo: Kurt Kulac / Wiki Commons]
· Eclipse Chasers Athenaeum
· Chase a Total Eclipse in an Airplane, Hope Your Seat Is on the Right Side [Gizmodo]
· India Tourism [Jaunted]
· Eclipse Viewing Coverage [Jaunted]