Alaska Airlines to delay flight so travellers can see solar eclipse

Some Alaska Airlines customers are in for a treat tomorrow — the airline has tweaked the takeoff time for one of its flights so passengers can see tomorrow's total solar eclipse from a rare vantage point, according to a new report. Most people on Earth won't get to see the solar eclipse from their meager land-bound positions, though, as it'll only be visible in parts of Indonesia.

You probably haven't heard, but 2016 will bring a total solar eclipse on March 8 (that's tomorrow). The relative lack of excitement is due to the event's limited visibility — you'll need to fly to Indonesia to see it and hope the weather's agreeable. There is an alternative, though: an airplane.

Some particularly passionate individuals could book private flights to see the event from the sky, but others might luck out by booking the right flight at the right time. One such case is Alaska Airlines Flight 870, which takes off from Anchorage, Alaska to Honolulu tomorrow.

According to Xavier Jubier, an astronomy enthusiast who has an extensive writeup on so-called "eclipse flights," the airline has tweaked its flight schedule so that the plane will pass through the solar eclipse, giving passengers a unique — and brief — unobstructed view of the event. It seems the flight will leave about 20 minutes later than scheduled, and for the delay, passengers will get 2 minutes of viewing time.

Disappointed? Don't be — next year will bring another solar eclipse with much greater visibility.

SOURCE: Mashable