Airplane Passenger Captures Stunning Video of Total Solar Eclipse From 38,000 Feet

Yesterday, millions of people across the United States were treated to a rare solar spectacle: a total eclipse of the sun. Since then, websites like Instagram and Facebook have been flooded with images and videos of the event. While most of these posts feature shots of crescent shadows and photos of darkened skies, a unique video shared by broadcast journalist Jessica Grief shows the stunning solar eclipse as seen from an airplane.

Grief was one of several individuals lucky enough to snag a seat on Alaska Airlines Flight 9671. Described by the company as “a 2,000-mile flight to nowhere,” the sole purpose of the journey was to offer passengers—who ranged from NASA astronauts and astrophotographers to journalists and professors—a rare glimpse of the phenomenon. Taking off in Portland and heading southwest, the flight promised an exceptionally once-in-a-lifetime view of the occurrence above the Pacific Ocean.

Just before 10 AM, as the plane cruised at 38,000 feet, passengers were among the first to witness totality. As expected, it did not disappoint. “You could prepare, you could know everything, you could be right on top of every fact of what it should look like, but when you see it, all that just goes away and you breathe it in,” Dr. Michael Barratt, a NASA astronaut, explains. “It was really spectacular.”

Broadcast journalist Jessica Grief was one of several lucky individuals invited to view the total solar eclipse from the air.

To ensure passengers on Alaska Airlines Flight 9671 had an optimal eclipse experience, a lot of preparation went into the journey.

Judging by this view, it was worth it!

There is also a video circulating on social media of another airplane view, but it's actually from 2015.

h/t: [Elite Daily, Mashable]

All images via Alaska Airlines unless otherwise stated.

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Kelly Richman-Abdou

Kelly Richman-Abdou is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. An art historian living in Paris, Kelly was born and raised in San Francisco and holds a BA in Art History from the University of San Francisco and an MA in Art and Museum Studies from Georgetown University. When she’s not writing, you can find Kelly wandering around Paris, whether she’s leading a tour (as a guide, she has been interviewed by BBC World News America and France 24) or simply taking a stroll with her husband and two tiny daughters.
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