A solar eclipse last week caused an Alaska Airlines flight to redirect briefly so passengers could enjoy the view at about 35,000 feet in the air.
The change of plans was established a year ago, when passenger Joseph Rao, associate astronomer at the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium, realized that the eclipse's path would intersect with his flight path — almost half an hour before his flight arrived, according to Alaska Airlines blog.
Rao called the airline, and officials decided to adjust the flight so passengers could experience the eclipse from the air.
The University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory's Glenn Schneider organized the new plan for the flight and Rao presented them to airline officials, who moved the departure time to 25 minutes later.
The flight from Anchorage to Honolulu held about a dozen astronomers and "eclipse chasers," along with about 150 other passengers.
Chasing the shadow of the moon: To intercept eclipse, Alaska Airlines adjusts flight plan to delight astronomers, some of the astronomers and "eclipse chasers" on the flight travel the world to see eclipses, according to the blog. This one was visible over Southeast Asia and the Pacific Ocean.
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon gets between Earth and the sun, and the moon casts a shadow over Earth. A solar eclipse can only take place at the phase of new moon, when the moon passes directly between the sun and Earth and its shadows fall upon Earth's surface