In Flight Entertainment Includes Amazing View Of Solar Eclipse | KUOW News and Information

In Flight Entertainment Includes Amazing View Of Solar Eclipse

Mar 9, 2016

The view of a lifetime: That's what passengers on board Alaska Airlines flight 870 got on Tuesday.

A group of astronomers convinced the airline to change the flight plan for a plane headed from Anchorage to Honolulu. Why, you ask? So they could get a perfect view of a solar eclipse in progress. 

Mike Kentrianakis is the solar eclipse project manager for the American Astronomical Society. He was on board the Alaska Airlines flight. 

He said the flight was like nothing else he's been a part of.  

"Seeing the shadow of the moon coming at you, it was like a wall of darkness in the horizon and I could see this wall of darkness start coming toward me and at both sides it was curved and it enveloped us," Kentrianakis said.

When the sun was fully eclipsed passengers started to cheer, he said. 

"And you could see the full glory of what's called the corona, the outer atmosphere of the sun. And around it, it had streamers. We could even see little tinges of red."

"The intensity of the light, the darkness of the shadow curved through the blue sky and then a red horizon all around," he said.

Kentrianakis said the plane took on a party atmosphere and people took turns looking out the window. He's seen several solar eclipses before, but never one from a plane. 

"You're like, this is surreal, this is outer-space, we're on a plane right now," Kentrianakis said. 

"It was grand. I've never experienced anything like that."