NASA’s WB-57s High-Altitude Flight Provides Unprecedented Opportunity for Solar Eclipse Research

Scientists Chase After the Total Solar Eclipse Using NASA Jet Planes

Solar eclipses have historically been instrumental in driving various scientific discoveries, leading to groundbreaking research. In anticipation of the upcoming solar eclipse, NASA has allocated funding for several scientific experiments. These experiments will be conducted using the WB-57s aircraft, which are operated by NASA and fly at altitudes much higher than commercial airplanes.

The high altitude at which the WB-57s operate enables them to bypass most of Earth’s atmosphere, resulting in clearer image capture and the ability to detect wavelengths such as infrared light that may not reach the ground. With a cruising speed of 460 miles per hour, these aircraft have the advantage of being able to extend the duration of their time in the Moon’s shadow during the eclipse.

During a solar eclipse lasting only four and a half minutes at any given location on the ground, scientists can gather valuable data and conduct research that may lead to new discoveries in astronomy. However, with an extended duration of over six minutes and twenty-two seconds due to their speed and altitude, the WB-57s will provide scientists with an unprecedented opportunity to study this natural phenomenon in detail.

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