You can’t help but get excited when you fly with us and see a solar eclipse. We adjusted Flight #870 from Anchorage to Honolulu on March 8, 2016 just so our passengers could catch the solar eclipse from 35,000 feet.
When the sun and the moon and the Earth aligned this week, an Alaska Airlines jet was in the right place at the right time to catch the total solar eclipse.
In window seat 32F, Joe Rao was one of the dozen astronomers and veteran “eclipse chasers” among the 181 passengers onboard, gazing out oval windows as the moon blocked the sun for nearly two minutes.
He’s an associate astronomer at the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium (where astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is director). About a year ago, Rao discovered that Alaska Airlines Flight 870 from Anchorage to Honolulu would intersect the “path of totality” – the darkest shadow of the moon as it passes over the Earth.