Researchers Chase the Total Solar Eclipse Using NASA Jets

Soaring Above the Clouds: NASA’s WB-57 Jets Capture Unique Views During the Solar Eclipse

During the upcoming solar eclipse, NASA has a unique opportunity to conduct several scientific experiments using specialized jets known as WB-57 aircraft. These planes are able to fly at much higher altitudes than commercial aircraft, allowing them to soar above the clouds and avoid missing the eclipse due to bad weather conditions. The WB-57s also have cameras on board that can capture clear images and wavelengths, such as infrared light, that are typically filtered out before reaching the ground.

One key advantage of using the WB-57 aircraft is their ability to travel at speeds of up to 460 miles per hour. This high speed allows the planes to extend the duration of time spent in the Moon’s shadow during the eclipse. While the eclipse will last no more than four and a half minutes at any given location on the ground, the aircraft will experience a longer eclipse lasting over 6 minutes and 22 seconds. This extended viewing time provides researchers with the opportunity to gather more data and insights during this rare astronomical event.

NASA has funded three experiments that will utilize the WB-57 aircraft during the solar eclipse. One experiment aims to study how solar radiation affects Earth’s atmosphere, while another focuses on measuring temperature changes in plants during the eclipse. The third experiment involves capturing images of distant stars using infrared cameras mounted on board the jets.

Overall, NASA’s use of specialized jets during this rare astronomical event presents an exciting opportunity for scientists to gather valuable data and insights into space exploration. The ability of these jets to fly above most of Earth’s atmosphere and capture clear images allows researchers to gain a deeper understanding of our planet’s environment and its interactions with space.

In conclusion, NASA is utilizing specialized jets known as WB-57 aircraft during this upcoming solar eclipse for conducting scientific experiments funded by

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