TORONTO — Next week on March 8 and 9, a total solar eclipse will captivate audiences around the world.
While the phenomenon will be visible on earth, a rather unique way to view it is on an airplane where weather adverse conditions won’t be able to interfere. For solar eclipse enthusiasts, this is a big deal and private operators are capitalizing by offering eclipse flights. For a few thousand dollars, passengers can almost guarantee a spectacular view.
But aside from private, there are a few commercial options to view the eclipse. Citizen astronomer Xavier Jubier has outlined the following commercial options:
Garuda Indonesia Flight 649
Jubier reports that with a slightly adjusted flight path, Garuda Indonesia Flight 649 from Ternate City to Jakarta could get at least two and half minutes’ viewing time of totality on March 9 (local time).
“The flight plan will require a slight modification that can easily be implemented to offer a view of totality for 2 minutes and 27 seconds on the left side of the aircraft with the black sun at 38 degrees elevation,” Jubier writes, “or else 3 minutes and 3 seconds for passengers on the right side.”
Alaska Airlines Flight 870
Jubier also reports that Alaska Airlines Flight 870 could pass through the eclipse on March 8, local time, but it’s not guaranteed. The flight will have to take off on March 8 about 23 minutes late, says Jubier, to get a shot at viewing the eclipse.
Or watch the eclipse online
If getting prime seats on an airplane is not a viable option to view the eclipse, there’s yet another way to view the phenomenon – watch it online. Robotic telescope service SLOOH will be livestreaming the eclipse on March 8/9 (video below).